The night sky at Phil Welch Stadium lit up with fireworks not only to celebrate Independence Day but also a Mustangs victory, as St. Joseph defeated the Sedalia Bombers 11-6 on Thursday evening.
The Mustangs (20-8, 16-6 MINK) did not disappoint the 3,849 fans that spent the national holiday in attendance, as they won their third straight game to give them a two-game lead over the Chillicothe Mudcats in first place of the MINK North Division.
The Mustangs scored a single run in each of the first three innings and scored first. They got on the board early as a Terrence Spurlin triple batted in an early run in the first inning. However, the Bombers responded quickly as they scored two runs in the second inning to take a 2-1 lead.
The Mustangs tied it at two apiece later in the second inning when Max Mircovich scored off of a Derek Hussey sacrifice fly. At the bottom of the third inning, they got back on top of the Bombers due to a Drew Beazley double to make it 3-2 and retained the lead for the rest of the game.
St. Joseph finally scored multiple runs in the fifth inning, as they expanded their lead to 6-2. Spurlin and Hussey once again got on base as they both batted in the three runs in the inning. Jackson Wagner and Jordan Maxson scored after Spurlin singled, and Hussey batted in Spurlin on a fielder’s choice.
Mahlyk Davis was the starting pitcher for the Mustangs and finished with three strikeouts and five hits in six innings. Ryan Scharf finished with three strikeouts, Mack Stephenson had one strikeout and Jake Purl had three strikeouts for St. Joe.
At the top of the seventh inning, the Bombers got back on the board and scored two runs to narrow the gap and make it 6-4. Center fielder A.J. Gardner singled in a run, and Scharf later walked in a run when the bases were loaded.
The Mustangs answered with strong resilience, as they added four more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Three runs were scored off of a single by Jackson Dierenfeldt, and Jordan Maxson batted in Dierenfeldt later in the inning to take a 10-4 lead.
The Bombers didn’t go away without a fight and responded with two more runs in the eighth inning. However, it was too little too late, as the Mustangs once again answered as Hussey earned his third RBI of the night when he batted in Beazely and the Mustangs came away with a 11-6 victory.
The Mustangs head to Chillicothe tonight as they play the Mudcats (14-8) in what should be a highly competitive rivalry game at 7 p.m. Both teams are coming off of three straight wins and are looking to get the top seed in the division as the season is over halfway over.