MERIDIAN, MS — Playing their seventh game in five days the Mineral Area Cardinals held their own against the Meridian College Eagles for four and a half innings, but in the bottom of the fifth the Cardinals game really went south as the Eagles broke the game wide open to score seven runs on their way to a 13-1, seven-inning win.
The game was scheduled for nine innings, but the 10-run mercy rule was applied after Mineral Area failed to close the gap in the top of the seventh.
Brad Matson recorded Mineral Area’s lone run with a home run in the first inning. Starting pitcher Ivan Pyska kept the Eagles in check, yielding only one run in the second inning before their fifth inning blow-out. Pyska yielded only one earned run in the fifth as Mineral Area’s defense struggled behind him.
Taking advantage of free bases on the Cardinals errors, the Eagles tacked on a pair of home runs by Wade Wass and Gabe Woods to help rack up the runs.
The Eagles were not hampered by MAC’s relief pitching as they collected eight hits to score eight of their 13 runs off of the relievers.
Mineral Area could only muster three hits off of Meridian’s starter Nick Helmstetter and reliever Michael Manley. Manley picked up the win, having taken the mound at the top of the fifth.
Dylan McEwin hit a double and Ethan Bullard singled in the game. The Cardinals were issued six walks and Tyler Bunge took one for the team, but the Cardinals could not come up with a clutch hit with runners on base.
The Cardinals (10-8) are returning home, having gone 2-5 on their southern-state excursion, and they will play their next game at Illinois Central on Wednesday. The Cardinals will be home on Friday for a 12 p.m. doubleheader with NE Oklahoma.