PARK HILLS – Stephen Carter saved the fourth matchup against North Central for Mineral Area by working his way out of a ninth-inning pinch on Sunday.
Carter entered with one out and a runner at second following a solo home run and an RBI double earlier in the frame that reduced the lead to one.
He fanned the first batter faced, but a passed ball on the third strike resulted in runners at the corners with just one out.
Carter remained poised on the mound to coax two ground outs, and finished out the Cardinals' Region 16 weekend sweep with a 4-3 victory.
Kollin Stone earned the win for Mineral Area (4-7, 4-0) by recording 10 strikeouts through the first six innings. Austin Wren struck out three over three innings in the loss.
Dalton Cook highlighted all offense of a three-hit victory for the Cardinals with a solo homer to stretch the lead to 4-0 during the sixth inning. Mitch Barrow added the other two singles plus two RBI.
Enrique Madera produced two singles for North Central. Connor Quick, Quinsly Balentien and Austin Satterfield each added a hit.
Mineral Area 4, North Central 2
Mineral Area allowed eight his to North Central during the first game on Sunday, but limited the opposition to just two runs.
The Cardinals tallied seven hits as a team to earn their third win of the series in a 4-2 triumph.
Trent Pobst notched two doubles to lead Mineral Area. Ethan Reando, John Benevolent, Mitch Barrow, Doug Payne and Liam Hicks contributed hits.
Travis Turnbough struck out seven in a complete-game win. Blake Collister surrendered seven hits through five frames in the loss.
Caleb Walker finished with a triple and a single for North Central, while Quinsly Balentien produced a two-run double in the top of the sixth to bring the Pirates within 3-2. Deric Killday went 2-for-3.
The Cardinals carried a 3-0 lead into the sixth inning by scoring two runs in the fourth and another during the first frame.
Mineral Area 7, North Central 6
Mineral Area baseball earned its first victory of the season in walk-off style on Saturday to begin a doubleheader against North Central.
The Cardinals loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth inning after evening the score at 6-6 in the seventh.
Hayden Helvey was walked, which allowed Liam Hicks to score and seal a 7-6 triumph in the series opener.
Mineral Area started its production late, but notched a run in each of the last five frames to generate a comeback.
North Central struck first on a Terrence Goeloe RBI single in the first inning, then tallied twice during the second.
Caleb Feuerstake answered in the bottom of the home half with a two-run blast over the right-field fence off Trae Brownell, who then recorded three of his four strikeouts for the Pirates to maintain the lead.
Brownell went four innings and allowed three runs, while Moses LaFontaine surrendered the final walk for North Central.
Brandt Busenbark threw for the first six frames and struck out three for the Cardinals. Ryan Paschal relieved for the win with five hits allowed.
Feuerstake finished a 3-for-3 with two home runs with three RBI. John Benevolent also went 3-for-3 with an RBI. Ethan Reando and Mitch Barrow also contributed hits.
Stay'Jawn Hunter paced the North Central offense with three singles and an RBI. Enrique Madera and Connor Quick each provided two hits.
Mineral Area 7, North Central 4
Mineral Area survived a four-run third inning by sending five runners across the plate in the home half to defeat North Central 7-4 in the second game on Saturday.
Trent Pobst, Andrew Hayden and Dalton Cook each drove in a run during the big rally for the Cardinals, while an error allowed another man to cross the plate. Liam Hicks produced three of the eight MAC hits, including a double.
Hayden Helvey contributed a double, single and two RBI, while Mitch Barrow added two hits. Doug Payne ended 1-for-3 in the win.
Luis Acuna worked the first two innings and fanned three batters for the Cardinals, while Logan Damesworth allowed no hits through the final 2 1/3 frames.
Quinsly Balentien went 2-for-4 for North Central, while Terrence Goeloe and Connor Quick each produced a double. Brandon Whitehead surrendered four hits and three runs during the final four innings.