ST. LOUIS — Sophomore outfielder Adam Blum drilled a lead-off home run and Tyler Beers followed with a key RBI single to help Mineral Area College avoid a double-header sweep on Tuesday.
The three-run eighth inning proved decisive in an 11-9 game two victory over Forest Park that saw the Cardinals overcome five defensive errors and an immediate 7-0 deficit on the road.
Mineral Area (7-9) began chipping away in the second frame when Dylan Harris tripled ahead of a two-run blast by catcher Nick Cox. A timely two-run single from Sean Embry in the third trimmed the deficit to 7-5.
Beers belted a three-run homer in the fourth to put the Cardinals ahead for the first time, driving home Korey Domenick and Ronnie Calvird in the process. Beers finished the contest 2-for-5 with four RBI.
Cardinals hurler Dustin Hunter recovered from a long and frustrating first inning by later retiring 10 consecutive batters, and left the action leading in the seventh after recording six strikeouts.
But the Mineral Area defense coughed up their fourth unearned run of the game, as Brandon Gargus’ RBI single with two outs pulled the Highlanders even at 8-8.
Domenick went 3-for-4 plus a walk, while Cox, Blum and Harris each logged two hits for the Cardinals, who totaled 16 overall. Scott Jones allowed a run in the eighth but earned the win out of the bullpen.
The Highlanders capitalized on two first-inning MAC errors with two mighty swings. Curran Collins cleared the bases with a grand slam and Nathan Smith extended the advantage with a three-run homer.
Forest Park captured the opening game 5-3 after scoring three times in the fifth inning. Beers allowed five runs on six hits and walked three after Mineral Area built a 2-0 lead.
Embry paced the Cardinals by going 2-for-3 with a double. Calvird chipped in a double and sacrifice fly, and Ty Van Schoyck had a RBI single.
MAC (7-9) will host Rend Lake at 1 p.m. on Thursday before facing Three Rivers in region play on Saturday.