JOPLIN, Mo. – Liam Hicks, Mitch Barrow and Trent Pobst homered, and the Mineral Area baseball team used that power surge to avoid a series sweep on Saturday.
Kollin Stone pitched five strong innings while scattering three hits, and the Cardinals supported him with six two-out runs in the second inning for an 11-1 triumph over Crowder.
Barrow was 2-for-2 with two runs scored while reaching base three times. Trynt Tompkins contributed a double and single in three plate appearances for Mineral Area (14-15, 10-6).
Hicks went deep in the opening frame against Colten Weber, and the Cardinals bounced the Crowder starter after sending 11 batters to the plate in the second.
Jake Pryor and Doug Payne walked ahead of a two-run double by Caleb Feuerstake. Three more walks preceded a two-RBI single from Pryor that created a 7-0 lead.
Stone provided MAC with a needed complete game – albeit abbreviated by run rule – after Crowder (27-8, 14-2) had piled up 44 runs over the first three contests in the series.
The sophomore right-hander recorded four of his five strikeouts during a stretch of seven consecutive retired batters after allowing a solo home run to Colten Nix in the third inning.
Barrow hammered a two-run home run – his team-leading seventh – following a leadoff double by Tompkins. Pobst added his fifth with a man aboard later in the fourth inning.
Mineral Area catcher Andrew Hayden caught a runner stealing in the first inning. The Cardinals will travel to Kansas City next weekend for a Region 16 series against Maple Woods.