PARK HILLS – Caleb Feuerstake connected for a leadoff triple that sparked a three-run first inning for Mineral Area in the opening game of a doubleheader against State Fair on Monday.
Tommy Van De Sanden added a tiebreaking single, and German Sepulveda padded the lead with a two-run home run moments later.
Sophomore catcher Liam Hicks paced the Cardinals with three hits, including two more home runs, and victories of 4-2 and 7-4 completed a four-game series sweep.
Mineral Area (13-2, 4-2) tallied three extra-base hits among seven total in the opening game.
Freshman left-hander Matt McGilvray (5-0) struck out five and allowed two runs through five innings for the Cardinals.
Hicks slapped a line drive to the opposite field for a two-out double, but was stranded in scoring position.
Gavin Jones collected the first hit for State Fair with a single to right field, and scored when Drew Perez rocketed a fly ball past right fielder Jake Pryor.
Ian Taylor slugged his second home run of the season by driving the first pitch of the fifth inning deep to left field, shrinking the margin to 3-2.
Hicks answered with a solo shot of his own, his ninth of the year. Both teams stranded five runners on base.
David Webb notched his second save of the weekend by pitching the final two innings of game one. He faced eight batters and struck out three.
Feuerstake and Van De Sanden each had one hit and one RBI. Dillon Thomas also singled.
State Fair (8-10, 3-5) was paced by Jones, who compiled two singles and scored one run.
Perez added a single and RBI for the Roadrunners, while Brady Holden also contributed a single.
Bill Cain pitched a complete game in defeat for State Fair. He struck out seven batters and gave up seven hits over six innings.
Mineral Area 7, State Fair 4
Caleb Feuerstake lifted a two-run homer to right-center with one out as a five-run fifth inning pushed the Cardinals ahead in game two.
Liam Hicks followed suit with his second blast of the day to right field, and sits second in the nation with 10 home runs.
Four more walks and a throwing error plated two more runs, and Mineral Area secured a 7-4 victory.
State Fair jumped to a lead in the fourth inning when Gavin Jones pulled the ball near the left field foul pole for a solo home run.
Mineral Area answered in the bottom half of the fourth. Peyton Soria issued a one out walk to Jake Pryor, who moved to second with a stolen base.
Pryor scored when Riley Perks laced a single to right field.
The Cardinals struck again in the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly to right field by Feuerstake for his third RBI of the game.
State Fair drew close in the top of the seventh with three runs. Jones led off with a walk, and was brought in by a double from Blake Ford.
Ford came around to score when a relay throw from the second basemen ricocheted off the catcher’s mask laying in front of the plate.
Mineral Area drew eight walks in the ball game while producing four hits. Feuerstake, Hicks and Perks each went 1-for-4.
Feuerstake paced the offense with three RBI, while Hicks, Perks and Noah Niswonger had one RBI.
Spencer Burnham pitched six strong innings for the Cardinals, and struck out four of his 22 batters faced.
Nick Silcox appeared in relief and surrendered two hits and three earned runs while striking out one and walking two.
Ryan Paschal finished off the final 2 2/3 innings for the save. He struck out four, walked one and allowed one hit.
Ford and Holden led State Fair by going 2-for-4. The visitorsr stranded four runners in scoring position in game two.