LEBANON — The 10-year-old Mineral Area All-Stars took a giant step closer to a possible World Series berth on Sunday, and wrapped up the first of what could be a series of state championships for area teams this summer in the process.
Mineral Area clubbed 15 hits and won an 11-7 slugfest over the Sikeston All-Stars in Sunday’s state championship game at Lebanon. Mineral Area also handed Sikeston its first loss of the double-elimination tournament on Saturday to reach the final.
Drew Rhodes battled tough on the mound for six innings to earn the complete-game victory. Rhodes notched four strikeouts while giving up eight hits. He also drove in two runs with two hits, including the team’s only double.
Justin Ruby also had two RBI on a pair of singles, while Nathan Wulfert added two hits and one RBI. Jesse Waters and Connor Davault also chipped in two hits apiece.
Bubba Kearns and Doug Warren had two RBI and one single each. Chase Busenbark, Alex Pinkston and Brian Koppeis also helped the Mineral Area cause with singles.
Mineral Area had a much easier time with Sikeston on Saturday, needing just five innings to post an 11-1 victory. The offense was in full force again with 16 total hits.
A dominant pitching performance by Tyler Fenton set the pace for the runaway win. Fenton went the distance, allowing one run on just two hits while striking out six. He also ripped three hits at the plate and drove in a run.
Waters also had a huge, three-hit day with a pair of doubles and two RBI. Ruby mixed in a double among his three hits, while Wulfert drove in two runs with a pair of singles.
Mineral Area picked up RBI singles from Davault, Warren and Busenbark. Justin Lashley and Kearns also singled during the contest.
The MABA All-Stars will represent Missouri at the Midwest Plains Regional 10-year-old tournament in Iowa City, Iowa beginning on Saturday.