PARK HILLS — Wayde Roth put the Mineral Area baseball team in position to win another weekend series against a Region 16 opponent Sunday.
The right-hander from Ste. Genevieve notched four strikeouts while firing an impressive 5-hit shutout, and the Cardinals benefited from a late disputed call to edge Maple Woods 1-0 in game one of a doubleheader.
The Cardinals generated two of their four total hits against Monarchs hurler Grant Woods during a 2-out rally in the third inning.
A double to right-center by Lance Fields was initially misjudged on contact, and second baseman Brad Ridings punched the next offering through the left side for an RBI single.
Mineral Area tried to steal another run in the fourth with runners at the corners, but the Maple Woods defense alertly tagged Carlos Vargas in a rundown between first and second.
Roth easily worked around leadoff hits in the third and fifth innings, but allowed back-to-back singles to Brad Dillenberger and Ryan Cooper to begin the pivotal sixth.
Dillenberger attempted to advance from second base on a fly ball to center fielder Brad Matson, but was called out for leaving early after a being initially ruled safe on a close play at third.
Nick Elmore followed with another single to fuel the Maple Woods disdain, as the previous call ultimately negated the tying run. Roth punctuated the inning with a strikeout of Will Carter.
Grant Woods struck out three in a complete-game loss for Maple Woods, which then responded in game two against Mineral Area ace Jeff King for an 8-4 victory to level the 4-game series.
Carter shined by going 5-for-5 with a four RBI, and Nick Elmore finished 4-for-5 with four runs scored as the Monarchs (6-21) produced a breakout effort with 16 hits overall.
Clayton Gibbons equaled Matson by going 3-for-4 to pace Mineral Area (27-8), which seemed to gain an early advantage after Maple Woods starter Bryce Bentley injured his pitching shoulder after facing just six batters.
Cole Kaiser drew a bases-loaded walk and Fields put the Cardinals ahead 3-1 with a long 2-run single to right-center.
Reliever Ryan Deckard limited the damage from there, however, and struck out five over 4 1/3 innings to earn the win.
King enjoyed a scorching start to his sophomore season, winning his first six decisions, and quickly retired two batters in the third inning on Sunday before the Monarchs turned five consecutive hits into three runs.
Elmore looped a shallow RBI single just beyond the reach of leaping second baseman Brad Ridings. Carter followed with a tying single before Trenton Hill ripped a go-ahead double.
Maple Woods extended its 4-3 margin with insurance runs in the fifth and seventh frames as Elmore and Carter again delivered two straight hits.
Mineral Area wasted a leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh, and saw the eighth conclude on a line drive double play.
Gibbons completed the scoring with a single after Victor Zuniga singled to extend the game. Gibbons leads the Cardinals with 28 RBI this season.
King allowed five runs through five innings, fanning seven batters without issuing a walk. The Monarchs tacked on two tallies against reliever Colby Brown in the ninth.
The teams split two games Saturday at Hal Loughary Field. Vargas collected 11 strikeouts over seven innings in a 9-3 triumph for MAC after the Monarchs claimed the series opener 4-1.
Mineral Area currently sits at 12-4 in region play, and will welcome Three Rivers for a doubleheader on Thursday.
Maple Woods 000 000 0 - 0 5 2
Mineral Area 001 000 x - 1 4 1
W - Wayde Roth 7ip 0r 0er 5h 4k 0bb.
L - Grant Woods 6ip 1r 1er 4h 3k 1bb.
Maple Woods - Trenton Hill 1-3, Brad Dillenberger 1-3, Ryan Cooper 1-3, Nick Elmore 1-3, Ozzie Rodriguez 1-3.
Mineral Area - Victor Zuniga 1-2, Carlos Vargas 1-2, Lance Fields 1-3, Brad Ridings 1-3. 2b - Fields.
Maple Woods 013 010 102 - 8 16 0
Mineral Area 030 000 001 - 4 9 0
W - Ryan Deckard 4 1/3ip 1r 1er 5h 5k 3bb.
L - Jeff King 5ip 5r 5er 11h 7k 0bb.
Maple Woods - Will Carter 5-5, Nick Elmore 4-5, Ryan Cooper 2-5, David Johnson 2-5, Beau Stoker 1-3, Trenton Hill 1-3, Brad Dillenberger 1-5. 2b - Elmore, Carter, Hill.
Mineral Area - Clayton Gibbons 3-4, Brad Matson 3-4, Cole Kaiser 1-1, Lance Fields 1-3, Victor Zuniga 1-5.