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CHALMETTE, La. – The Mineral Area baseball offense has been cooking through three southern road trips while building an 8-0 record to begin the season.

 

With sophomores Liam Hicks and Caleb Feuerstake setting a tone atop the order, the Cardinals are leading the nation in home runs after clubbing 13 more over the weekend.

Mineral Area capped a three-game series sweep of Elaine P. Nunez College by prevailing 13-4 in the second part of a doubleheader on Saturday.

Hicks belted his fourth home run of a weekend and team-leading fifth of the season while finishing 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored.

Feuerstake crossed the dish four times and went 4-for-5 with three doubles while also going deep. The Cardinals tallied six runs in the second inning to build an 8-0 advantage.

Dalton Cook was 3-for-4 with three RBI, including a double and home run, and shortstop Tommy Van De Sanden launched a two-run shot in the victory.

Matt McGilvray (3-0) pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings with three hits allowed, and struck out three after starter Parker Stidham surrendered two earned runs through 1 2/3 frames.

Noah Niswonger provided a two-run double while German Sepulveda and Anyelo Marte added hits for Mineral Area.

A nine-run outburst in the fourth inning punctuated a 16-1 Mineral Area triumph earlier in the day, as Hicks drove in four overall while matching Dillon Thomas and Feuerstake with homers.

Thomas also doubled while going 2-for-3 with three runs scored, and Van De Sanden reached base four straight times with two singles and two walks.

Spencer Burnman (1-0) scattered three hits and notched eight strikeouts for the win, yielding a lone run during his fourth and final frame. Zach McDermott relieved with a scoreless fifth.

Riley Perks, Doug Payne and Jake Pryor each contributed singles, and the Cardinals capitalized on three errors committed by the Nunez defense.

Mineral Area hammered pitches out of the park six times during the series opener on Friday evening, and totaled 15 hits for a 15-5 victory.

Hicks homered twice while driving in three, Van De Sanden added a solo shot while going 3-for-4 overall with three runs scored.

The Cardinals jumped ahead 3-0 on a three-run blast by Perks in the second inning, and extended a 7-1 advantage by pushing seven more across the dish in the sixth.

Ryan Paschal (2-0) scattered three hits and three walks over five innings, and struck out seven while allowing one run for the win. He was backed by errorless defense.

Feuerstake finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored from the leadoff spot. Thomas was 2-for-3 with a solo shot and sacrifice fly.

Pryor drilled his own home run among two hits. Kurt Dawkins doubled and Sepulveda provided a single plus two walks.

Mineral Area tagged Nunez starter Dominic Curole for seven earned runs on eight hits through five frames. Curole did help his own cause with a single and double at the plate.

Braiden Usey homered and Gavin Amedeo was 2-for-3 with a double in defeat.

The Cardinals will travel to Arkansas on Tuesday for a doubleheader against the Williams Baptist junior varsity ahead of weekend tests at SW Mississippi and Copiah-Lincoln.

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