PARK HILLS – The Mineral Area baseball team continues to generate steady offensive production in less than ideal weather conditions this season.
Connor Davault steered his first home run through a fierce crosswind, and Charlie Palmer collected six total hits in a doubleheader sweep Thursday as the Cardinals posted wins of 10-3 and 10-2 over the Central Methodist junior varsity.
The unrelenting breeze especially affected throws from left-side infielders and fly balls toward the right side throughout the afternoon.
Mineral Area notched its first two runs of Game 1 on a skipped throw from third base after Eagles starter Josh Wentler induced a 2-out ground ball.
Central Methodist committed three more errors in the second inning, but was unscathed after turning a double play up the middle.
RBI doubles by Palmer and Brad Cuyos created a 4-0 margin in the third, and Davault began a string of five hits in the fourth with his sinking solo shot down the left-field line.
Palmer continued his 3-for-3 game on back-to-back singles with Logan Bradley, and collected his third RBI in the sixth.
Tyler Thompson (1-0) retired his first six batters and worked five innings in his first start, striking out five batters while yielding five hits.
CMU scratched out an unearned run on Nick Ruffy’s RBI single in the fourth inning, and pulled within 7-3 on a 2-run single by Chad Berrey in the fifth.
Brandon Jansen doubled in the sixth off reliever Jordan Savage, and went 3-for-3 to pace the Eagles. He was promoted to the leadoff spot in game 2 after battling eighth.
Davault, who finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, would also make an impact behind the plate with a highlight hustling play in the fifth inning.
The sophomore catcher chased down an errant throw along the first-base fence in foul territory, and made a perfect throw across the diamond as Jansen tried to pick up two extra bases on the play.
Hunter Leeper and Bradley doubled to help Mineral Area add three tallies in the sixth. The Cardinals had 12 hits overall.
Trevor Huth fanned three and won his first collegiate decision in the second contest, taking a shutout bid into the fifth inning.
Cody Heisserer matched Palmer by going 3-for-4 as the Cardinals built a 7-0 advantage by the conclusion of the fourth inning.
Leeper collected three RBI in game 2, starting with a long 2-run double in the second inning. A single in his next appearance padded a 4-0 lead.
Palmer increased his team-high doubles count to 14 with three on the day. Four relievers posted scoreless frames for the Cardinals.
Tanner Ward and Brian Koppeis added singles off the MAC bench, and Cory Lubinski scored two runs.
Jansen went 3-for-4 and Berrey singled twice for the Eagles (1-3), who played only their second junior varsity doubleheader. Toby Yorks threw two innings in defeat.
Freshman left fielder Dakota Glore singled and scored in his lone plate appearance of the day, but left the opener after tweaking a knee in the first inning.
Mineral Area (16-11) will travel to Kansas City this weekend for a 4-game Region 16 series against Maple Woods.