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MINK Collegiate Baseball LEague
Morichika Hama gets Matt Woodmansee to strike out to end the eighth. (Photo: uClickTV)
Morichika Hama gets Matt Woodmansee to strike out to end the eighth. (Photo: uClickTV)

Mustangs Survive and Advance To Game Three Final

No lead is safe in the MINK League. Both the St. Joe Mustangs and Joplin Outlaws led at times in Game 2 of the MINK League Championship Series, but the game finished with the Mustangs outlasting the Outlaws 6-5 on Friday night. Morichika Hama would get a huge two-inning save to close out the game where Noah Bodenhous drove in the go-ahead RBI's.

Game 1 featured only one error while Game 2 featured two huge errors by each team. Last night, it was the Outlaws that opened the scoring in the third inning, but tonight, it was the Mustangs who plated three in the bottom of the frame. An error led to Tyler Petrosino gaining the first Mustangs run. Then Brady Holden had an RBI single, and finally shortstop Dylan Carey singled in Noah Bodenhous.

In the top of the sixth, the Outlaws would turn to their shortstop Caden Bressler, who had the huge hit last night to give Joplin the lead. Bressler would again to the trick giving the Outlaws a three run sixth with a 2-RBI single making it a 4-3 game.

But the Mustangs weren't done scoring an they answered right back in the bottom of the frame with three more of their own. Outlaws starter James Yamasaki exited with the bases loaded and reliever Edrian Rangel would allow three runs to score. Noah Bodenhous had a huge 2-RBI single, then scored off of an error by the Outlaws.

The game shifted into the later innings with the Outlaws getting to within one run in the seventh thanks to a Carson Carpenter RBI scoring Matt Woodmansee. But a huge 6-4-3 double-play finished by Jack Wagner would get the Mustangs out of the seventh.

The Mustangs won the most games in the MINK League regular season, but only notched eight saves in the year. Without an established closer, they went to Johnny All-Staff to close it out. Jared Wells came in to start the eighth and was taken out after allowing the first two batters to reach, then Morichika Hama, who had two of those eight saves, entered and induced a reverse double-play started by Jack Wagner and got Woodmansee to strike out on a ball in the dirt to get out of the eighth.

Johnny Coy's Mustangs would lean on Hama for a huge six-out save and that's exactly what he gave them mowing through the Outlaws batters after a leadoff walk in the ninth inning to secure the 6-5 victory and set the stage for a winner-take-all Game 3 Saturday night.

The Mustangs will host Joplin at home for Game 3 Saturday night at 7pm. Tickets are available at the Mustangs website, and the game will be streamed free of charge courtesy of uClickTV.

The Outlaws are looking for their first ever MINK League Title. The Mustangs are the two-time defending champions looking for their eighth overall title.