NEOSHO, Mo. – Liam Hicks notched his team-high 36th RBI with a tiebreaking single in the 10th inning, and Mineral Area secured a 3-2 victory at Region 16 power Crowder on Saturday.
Jared Jones homered in the fifth inning, and drew a four-pitch leadoff walk that set up the winning rally. Pinch-runner Kurt Dawkins stole second base before Hicks drove him in.
David Webb (1-1) retired all nine batters faced and struck out three over the last three innings for the win. He was helped by a diving stop from third baseman Dillon Thomas in the eighth.
Hicks was 2-for-5 overall as the Cardinals (18-4, 6-4) salvaged an even four-game series split. Singles by Caleb Feuerstake and Doug Payne were negated as Crowder (23-8, 12-4) turned three double plays.
Jake Pryor singled home Feuerstake in the top of the first inning, but Crowder countered in the second as Cameron Tissue singled and scored on Jorden Hussein’s infield hit.
Jones belted his second home run of the spring against opposing starter Xavier Leduc to begin the fifth inning. Crowder drew even when Freilin Cabrera crossed on a booted ground ball in the sixth.
Spencer Burnham delivered seven quality innings for the Cardinals, allowing one earned run on eight hits and three walks while fanning three.
Michael Chrisman, Hussein and Cabrera each had two hits for the Roughriders.
Crowder 13, Mineral Area 1
Crowder produced 10 hits overall, and ousted previously unbeaten MAC starter Matt McGilvray in the second inning while rolling to a 13-1 triumph on Friday night.
Mineral Area trailed 4-0 at the completion of the opening frame, and committed two defensive errors while producing only three hits in the second game of a doubleheader.
Quinn Cherry went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI, while Tanner Norris worked all five innings and struck out four in the win.
Caleb Feuerstake socked his eight home run of the season for MAC in the third inning, but the Roughriders extended their 7-1 advantage with four more tallies during the home half.
Dalton Cook and Jake Pryor each singled for the Cardinals. McGilvray (5-1) surrendered four hits and two walks among 10 batters faced while also striking out two men and plunking another.
Mineral Area 11, Crowder 0
The first contest on Friday featured five sensational innings from Blakeney Kearbey in an abbreviated 1-hitter as the Cardinals dominated Crowder 11-0.
Mineral Area broke in front 2-0 during the third inning, then added five tallies in the fourth and four more in the fifth to make it a blowout.
Tommy Van De Sanden finished 3-for-4 with a double and four RBI, and Liam Hicks provided his own 3-for-4 performance with three runs scored to pace the offense.
Kearbey (2-0) collected four strikeouts and walked two while facing just three above the minimum. His ERA lowered to 2.33 in the first complete game thrown by a MAC hurler this season.
Jake Pryor supplied power with a solo home run, Caleb Feuerstake and Jared Jones added RBI singles, and Noah Niswonger chipped in another hit.
Crowder 7, Mineral Area 5
Ross Carver compiled 10 strikeouts and scattered five hits while allowing two runs in propelling Crowder past Mineral Area 7-5 in the series opener on Thursday night.
Jorden Hussein provided a triple and double while Brinson Williams and Cameron Tissue each added two more hits for the Roughriders, who never trailed after jumping ahead 2-0 in the second inning.
An error and walk preceded a two-run single by Williams, and Freilin Cabrera made it 4-1 with a two-RBI double in the third against MAC starter Parker Stidham.
Mineral Area was down 6-2 before surging with three tallies in the eighth. Riley Perks smashed a two-run homer to right, and Anyelo Marte doubled ahead of Noah Niswonger’s RBI single.
Colin Brougham retired three of the next five batters on strikeouts for the save. Hussein lined an RBI triple off Ryan Paschal in the home half of the eighth for insurance.
Perks singled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Dillon Thomas in the fourth, and finished 3-for-4 overall to pace the Cardinals. Niswonger supplied two singles.
Every spot in the Mineral Area batting order registered at least one hit in defeat. Liam Hicks, Tommy Van De Sanden and Jake Pryor strung together consecutive singles in the third to draw within 2-1.
Celeb Feuerstake opened the game with a double, but fanned four straight times from there. He was left at second base as Carver struck the ensuing three batters in the first inning.
Stidham (2-1) allowed six runs, four earned, on eight hits over five innings while taking the loss. Quinn Cherry fouled off six pitches in a row before Stidham zipped a high fastball past him in the fourth.
MAC reliever Cole Allen breezed through the sixth and seventh frames unblemished, but yielded a leadoff single to Tissue in the eighth before being called for a balk.
The Cardinals will make up a Region 16 doubleheader on Tuesday at St. Charles.