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Pirates keep battling in elimination bracket

CHARLESTON, Mo. — The Mineral Area Pirates have a long road ahead to contend for the Senior Babe Ruth state championship after dropping their opening contest.

They took two positive steps forward on Saturday with a pair of 5-inning victories at warm Hillhouse Park, and preserved its pitching staff by twice enacting the 10-run rule.

Derek Mitchell finished 3-for-3 with three RBI, and the Pirates scored eight times in the second inning to eliminate the Leopold Razorbacks 13-3.

Chase Kelley doubled and Hunter Hathcoat tripled him home to spark the decisive outburst. Jonathan Stabenow went 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBI, and Garrett Coffman added a single and double.

Winning pitcher Logan Blunt allowed two runs on four hits and struck out three over three innings. Austin Tounsand closed his second game of the tournament with two innings.

Clayton Brinkley smacked an RBI triple while pinch-hitter Jake Kirkpatrick and Blunt each singles for the Pirates, who played errorless defense.

Mineral Area posted another 8-spot in their second game after the first seven batters reached base, and cruised past the East Prairie Grasshoppers 16-3.

Coffman settled down after allowing four straight hits in the first inning, and threw a complete game with two strikeouts in the win.

He was also supported by flawless defense including a diving catch by Stabenow, who finished 2-for-4 with a double at the plate.

Brinkley paced the Pirates by going 3-for-3 while Klayton Loughary, Blunt and Kelley added two singles apiece. Mitchell tripled, Josh Barnett doubled and Kirkpatrick chipped in a single.

Mineral Area compiled 16 hits overall, and will return to action Sunday against the loser of an earlier contest between host Charleston and Oran.

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