Mustangs snap A's streak with late comeback

·2 min read

Jun. 22—The St. Joseph Mustangs faced a tall task when making the hour-plus trek to play the Clarinda A's in an intradivision showdown Tuesday evening.

Clarinda entered the contest riding six-straight wins and in first place of the MINK League's North Division. St. Joseph was looking to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time this season and inch closer to Clarinda's league-leading record.

And it was the Mustangs who found success, fending off a Clarinda comeback with one of their own to capture a 9-8 win over the A's on Eberly Field at Clarinda Municipal Stadium.

Clarinda starting pitcher Alex Amaral seemed to have the hot hand early, striking out the first batter of the game. But it was a mere four batters later when Mustangs designated hitter Karl Koerper hit a 3-RBI double to put St. Joseph on the board.

The Mustangs (11-7) didn't take long to add to their early inning onslaught, as shortstop Dylan Carey hit a 2-RBI double to give St. Joseph a 5-0 lead.

That's when everything changed.

St. Joseph was able to get another run in the top of the fourth inning, when a couple of errors put leadoff hitter Michael Paule on third and first baseman Jack Wagner scored him on a sacrifice fly.

The Mustangs were hitless from the third inning until the top of the eighth, and that allowed the A's (12-4) to mount a comeback behind three runs in the fifth, another three in the sixth and two in the seventh.

Then, after the cold spell that led to facing an 8-6 deficit, the Mustangs returned to the form that carried them through the early parts of the evening.

An error allowed Mustangs second baseman Will Dryburgh to reach second, and right fielder Tyler Petrosino scored on the same play.

Dryburgh, behind left fielder Trevor McCollum, came around to score the eventual game-winning run when center fielder Brady Holden knocked a 2-RBI double in the bottom of the eighth.

Mustangs right-handed pitcher Jay Greco, who entered the contest in the bottom of the sixth, nabbed the win despite allowing four runs on five hits in his two innings of action.

Morichika Hama, who relieved Greco in the bottom of the eighth, notched the save by only allowing one hit and striking out three of the eight batters he faced during the eighth and ninth innings.

The Mustangs will be back in action when they close out a three-game road trip with a matchup against the Carroll Merchants on Thursday in Carroll, Iowa. First pitch is set for 6:45 p.m.

Jon Walker can be reached at jon.walker@newspressnow.com