NEOSHO, Mo. – Justin Carinci drilled an opposite-field, leadoff home run to give the Mineral Area baseball team a promising start to its four-game series with ninth-ranked Crowder.
But the Roughriders emerged with a 6-4 victory on Thursday night, then followed with back-to-back shutout wins on Friday before completing the sweep on Saturday.
Carinci was 3-for-5 overall in the ninth-inning opener. He notched a second RBI on an RBI single in the fifth, but not before Crowder scored three times to lead 3-1 in the third.
Dayvin Johnson paced the Roughriders at 3-for-5 from the leadoff spot, while Cole Kitchens and Kolton Reynolds were each 2-for-3 plus a walk.
Brett Gastman pitched 6 1/3 innings, and struck out five while allowing two runs on five hits for the win. He retired 10 consecutive batters following the Carinci home run.
Mineral Area drew within 5-3 on an RBI single by Ruendrick Piternella, but stranded the tying runs on base as Reece McWilliams pitched the last 2 2/3 innings for the save.
Ryker Walton suffered the loss after working the first six innings with six strikeouts and five runs given on six hits. He was helped by two double plays and a man caught stealing by Alonzo Zuniga.
Antoine Tremblay, Karter Kekec and Jack Dunn singled for the Cardinals.
Friday featured a doubleheader and 12 empty innings by the visiting offense. Crowder pitcher Ashton Branson fired a complete game three-hitter with 12 strikeouts in an initial 2-0 win.
Joey Morton put the Roughriders ahead 1-0 on an RBI double in the first inning. Johnson doubled, advanced to third base on an error, and scored on a passed ball in the fifth.
MAC starter Ray Ochoa worked around runners at second and third with no outs in the fourth, but yielded eight hits and two walks through five frames while fanning five in defeat.
Liam Bushey finished 1-for-2 with a walk for the Cardinals. Branson retired the last 10 batters in a row after Zuniga and Kaleb Lemos singled in the top of the fourth.
Crowder tagged lefty and Oklahoma signee Gavin Oswald for seven earned runs and 10 overall to cap the Friday doubleheader with a 10-0 blitzing.
Kaden Zarowny opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the second inning, and three runs crossed the plate following an error in center field with two outs in the third for a 5-0 advantage.
Tyler Favretto highlighted his 3-for-3 effort with a two-RBI double during a five-run fourth. Johnson went 2-for-2 with a triple and two runs scored.
Landon Grigg threw all five innings for an abbreviated two-hitter. Jarai Bolden and Austin Jerger had the only hits for Mineral Area.
Kolton Reynolds homered and doubled twice in a 3-for-4 game with two RBI, and the Roughriders solidified the series finale 7-3 on Saturday.
Kitchens provided RBI singles in the third and seventh innings, and Johnson continued a strong weekend at the plate with a double, single and stolen base for Crowder (39-11, 20-3).
Winning pitcher Riely Hunsaker struck out six and allowed two runs on eight hits over seven innings, and departed with a healthy 7-2 lead after carrying a shutout bid into the sixth.
Doubles by Reynolds and Johnson spotted the home team a 5-0 in the fourth against Cardinals hurler Grant Nicholson, who surrendered a home run to Reynolds during a three-run third.
Mineral Area (29-18, 12-12) achieved two double plays along the infield, the second of which helped to diminish a rally after the Roughriders scored twice against Carter Rees in the seventh.
Eddie Friedel followed with a clutch strikeout after inheriting the bases loaded, then pitched a perfect eighth. Bushey reached on an error and scored in the top of the ninth.
Lemos finished 2-for-4 with an RBI while MAC teammates Carinci, Jerger and Zuniga each singled twice. Farmington graduate Clayton Redmond singled as a pinch-hitter.
Mineral Area travels to first-year program Moberly on Tuesday before hosting East Central on Thursday.