PARK HILLS — Freshman Chance Cleveland pitched seven strong innings and infielder Mike Bigogno went 3-for-3 with two RBI on Monday, as the Mineral Area College baseball team salvaged a 4-3 victory over Rend Lake in the second of two games played at Hal Loughary Field.
Cleveland allowed just two earned runs on four hits while recording 14 of his 21 outs on the ground in an efficient outing. He faced the minimum through four frames and issued no walks.
Nick Cox supported his pitcher and high-school teammate from Pine Bluff, Ark. with two hits, including a lead-off double that sparked the Cardinals’ decisive rally in the fifth.
A sacrifice bunt by Bobby Tatum was thrown wildly past third base, and Mineral Area surged ahead 3-2 as Cox raced home. Bigogno added a crucial run two batters later by chopping a RBI single over the Rend Lake infield.
The Warriors crept closer in the seventh after capitalizing on two MAC errors, but Cleveland picked up the complete game by inducing a line drive to center field with two runners aboard.
Mineral Area failed to advance Tyler Beers following a lead-off double in the second, but jumped ahead 2-0 against Warriors starter Patrick Flanagan on consecutive RBI doubles from Korey Domenick and Bigogno in the third.
Rend Lake briefly drew even with two tallies in the top of the fifth. Raymond Fuentes scored the tying run on a wild pitch with two outs moments after driving in Spencer Ammons with a double.
Matt Reed singled twice and Cameron Alkins took the loss in relief for the visitors.
Rend Lake never trailed after scoring five unanswered runs in the opening contest, and easily prevailed 8-2 as the Mineral Area defense committed six errors behind hurler Aaron Blunt.
Blunt has received minimal run support in each of his first five starts, but defensive miscues helped to spell defeat this time for the left-hander. Blunt allowed two earned runs on six hits and fanned three over five innings.
Derek Travillion belted a two-run homer to right-center in the top of the second, and the Warriors added another run during the inning on a throwing error. Two unearned runs in the fourth made it 5-0.
Luke Shuemaker compiled three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings, and worked his way out of trouble when needed for the win. Rend Lake nullified three walks from Shuemaker by turning double plays each time.
George Oquendo and Mike Ward each scored two runs, and Justin Cantrell went 2-for-4 at the plate to pace the Warriors, who swept a twinbill from the Cardinals earlier this season in Illinois.
Doubles by Beers and Clint Cashen helped Mineral Area generate its two runs during the fourth. Cashen finished the game 2-for-2 plus a walk, and Tatum chipped in a seventh-inning single.
Catcher Drew Pixley was also a perfect 2-for-2 with two stolen bases, but was called for interference behind the plate in the sixth. Rend Lake followed with three straight hits, including a RBI double from Vincent Furfaro.
Mineral Area (4-12) will play a 2 p.m. single contest today at SW Illinois. Region XVI action begins this weekend in Kansas City with a four-game series against Maple Woods.