Mustangs Give Phil Welch First Three-Peat Since 1948
Phil Welch Stadium in St. Joe, Mo has seen baseball on its field since 1939. During that time, it hosted games from a number of minor league, high school, and collegiate teams. Names such as Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, and Satchel Paige have called the stadium home. The last time a team won three championships in a row were the St. Joe Saints/Cardinals who won in 1940, then again in 1947 and 48 after the war.
Saturday night, the St. Joe Mustangs accomplished the first three-peat in MINK League history, again during a national baseball stoppage. They defeated the Joplin Outlaws in the deciding Game 3 11-1 topping off a dynastic series of championships that’s seen St. Joe win eight of their last thirteen championships as a ballclub under two head coaches and two ownership groups and the three-peat starting in 2019, 2021, and 2022.
The Mustangs, the team with the best record coming out of the regular season, lost game one on the road to the Joplin Outlaws 7-3, but the Mustangs revel at home, and defeated the Outlaws in game 2 6-5 on Friday. Saturday set up the best-of-three conclusion at Phil Welch.
St. Joe wasted no time getting on the board after a Noah Bodenhouse double to start the home half of the first, he was later driven in by a Jack Wagner sacrifice fly.
On the hill, St. Joe led with Tyson Hillsabeck, one of the Mustangs best arms, but he had a rough outing in cleanup duty against Carroll only going one inning and six batters. Hilsabeck got right back on track Saturday night working at a brisk pace and went six full innings allowing that only run.
For the Outlaws, they turned to right-hander Jack Kelley. He won three games for the Outlaws this year, but hadn’t seen time since July 12, a win against Chillicothe. He would fluster the Mustangs getting out of bases loaded jams in both the second and third allowing only one run.
Joplin would level the score in the third after a Max Bruff RBI double scoring Caden Bressler. But the wheels fell off for the Outlaws in the fourth inning as St. Joe plated four runs and they weren't done there. A Jack Wagner 3-run homer in the sixth made it 9-1 and the Mustangs never looked back. Wagner wasn't done there, as he would walk off the game with a 2-run RBI marking the mercy rule final of 11-1 in 7. Wagner ended the night with 8-RBIs responsible for nearly all of the Mustangs runs.
The Outlaws fell after reaching the Championship Series for the first time in their history.
The Mustangs did more than just win a single MINK title on Saturday night in front of over 3,000 gans, they completed yet another three-peat in the storied history of Phil Welch Stadium.
Game Story by Chris Kamler (MINK Baseball)
Photos by uClickTV