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MAC baseball finishes delayed sweep of STLCC

PARK HILLS – Liam Hicks provided the most potent bat for the Mineral Area baseball team on Tuesday with a pair of three-hit performances against St. Louis.

The Cardinals improved their position within the upper tier of the Region 16 standings by posting wins of 7-2 and 12-6 in a rescheduled home doubleheader to complete a four-game series sweep.

Kollin Stone (4-1) set the tone for game one with another superb start on the mound. The sophomore right-hander recorded eight strikeouts and scattered four hits while lasting all seven innings.

Trent Pobst made a diving catch in right-center field to begin the contest, and Stone struck out the next five batters in a row while retiring the first nine overall.

Mitch Barrow lofted a fly ball that an outfielder lost sight of for an RBI single after Caleb Feuerstake singled and stole second in the bottom of the first inning.

Mineral Area picked up two unearned runs in the third following a 1-out error. Trynt Tompkins singled home Feuerstake, and Jake Pryor drew a bases-loaded walk from Jackson Keller for a 3-0 lead.

Hicks highlighted his original 3-for-4 effort with a two-run home run to right in the fourth, making the margin 5-1, and doubled before being stranded in the sixth.

Pryor singled and John Benevolent reached on a booted ground ball in the Mineral Area fifth. No. 9 batter Doug Payne sent both around with a two-RBI double over the center fielder.

St. Louis netted its first tally in the fourth when Jackson Boschert singled and came home on a ground ball. Austin DesRoche added an RBI single in the fifth.

Stone limited the damage from there by getting nine of his last 10 Archers faced, including a spotless and efficient seventh to secure the complete game.

Hicks collected two RBI while going 3-for-5 in game two. Mineral Area (21-16, 15-7) broke a scoreless draw with two runs in the third inning, and erupted with five more in the fourth for a 7-0 cushion.

Luis Acuna (4-2) carried a shutout bid into the fifth before allowing four runs – only one of which was earned – and completed the frame to qualify for the win. He notched seven strikeouts.

Stephen Carter inherited a three-run advantage, and worked the remaining four innings to pick up the save. He fanned eight, and yielded three hits while facing his only adversity in the eighth.

St. Louis (20-22, 8-16) climbed to within 8-6 on a two-out, two-RBI double by Clayton Stephens, but Carter responded with a strikeout to leave the potential tying runs on base.

Tompkins finished with four RBI, and drove in two with his second double of the game before scoring on Pobst’s RBI single later in the MAC eighth.

Payne finished 2-for-2, and John Benevolent supplied two RBI with a single and double for the Cardinals, who will commence a key four-game series against Jefferson on Thursday.

Pryor was 2-for-4, including a hustling triple to left-center in the sixth, and Pobst doubled within his 2-for-5 outing. Barrow chipped in an RBI single.

McGwire Dean notched a two-run single in the fourth inning, and Chase Jones collected two hits for St. Louis. Starter Jacob Branham was chased after allowing seven runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Mineral Area freshman Jake Pryor lines a pitch toward the left-center field gap for a triple during game two of a Region 16 baseball doubleheader against St. Louis on Tuesday.

Mineral Area freshman Jake Pryor lines a pitch toward the left-center field gap for a triple during game two of a Region 16 baseball doubleheader against St. Louis on Tuesday.

Mineral Area freshman Caleb Feuerstake (32) steals second base well ahead of the throw during game two of a doubleheader Tuesday against St. Louis.

Mineral Area freshman Caleb Feuerstake (32) steals second base well ahead of the throw during game two of a doubleheader Tuesday against St. Louis.

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