MAC Baseball

Sophomore pitcher Alex Hanft and the Mineral Area baseball team finished third in the Region 16 tournament with a 36-20 final record following losses to Crowder and Jefferson on Saturday.

Matt King, Daily Journal

JOPLIN, Mo. – Jefferson scored 10 runs over the last two innings against the Mineral Area bullpen, and stopped Mineral Area short of reaching the Region 16 championship round.

Andres Negron singled in his last three plate appearances to finish with five RBI, and the Vikings avenged an earlier tournament loss by eliminating the Cardinals 13-5 on Saturday night.

Mineral Area capitalized on a hit batsman an error to take a 4-3 lead in the seventh as Kenton Crawford delivered a go-ahead, two-run single off reliever Josh Ray.

But an infield hit and misplayed ground ball set the table for Jefferson in the eighth, as Cole Bornhop grounded a tying RBI single against Jose Peguero.

Negron put the Vikings ahead to stay with a two-RBI single off Conner Forsythe, and Ryan Mantle circled the bases with a two-run triple and throwing error to greet Kollin Stone.

Ryan Fish had an RBI single, and Negron drove in two with another hit as Jefferson posted four insurance runs with two outs in the ninth against Brennan White.

Alex Hanft pitched 6 2/3 innings and struck out eight in a no-decision for Mineral Area (36-20). Three of his seven hits allowed belonged to clean-up batter Justin Dirden.

Logan Winder scored early on a wild pitch, and Chase Urhahn provided an RBI single in the third against Jefferson starter Anthony Green for a 2-0 Mineral Area lead.

Dirden crushed a tying home run in the top of the sixth, and Negron handed the Vikings their first lead with a two-out, RBI single in the seventh.

Tanner Wetrich finished 2-for-4 and Hunter Draffen doubled for the Cardinals in their season finale. Three Jefferson pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts.

Mineral Area sustained its first loss of the double-elimination bracket earlier Saturday as Crowder piled up 17 hits in a 13-5 triumph to reach the winner’s bracket final.

Michael Miller and Kyle MacDonald each finished 3-for-4, and leadoff man Jacob Adams had a single, double and triple for the Roughriders, who are ranked second in the nation.

Four runs on five hits chased MAC starter Jacob Clark in the second inning, and Crowder pulled away against four relievers after the Cardinals pushed back in the fourth.

Ethan Reando lined a two-run single with the bases loaded, and Andrew Hayden cut the Mineral Area deficit to 5-4 with an RBI single after an error sparked the rally.

Tyler Duncan responded with a three-run blast off Brendan Anderson in the fourth, and home runs by Kyle Blackwell and Miller created an 11-4 margin against Stone in the fifth.

Devon Wilson had an RBI hit that temporarily extended the game in the seventh, while Wetrich, Urhahn and Trynton Tompkins added singles for the Cardinals.

Joey Cooner allowed one earned run on four hits, and fanned six over five innings for the win.

Crowder topped Jefferson in a winner-take-all final on Sunday to claim the Region 16 title.

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