Edge visiting St. Joseph 3-2 on Trevor Jones hit in ninth Sunday
CHILLICOTHE • For a third-straight night on a weekend home stand, the Chillicothe Mudcats college-level, wood-bat baseball team produced a walkoff MINK League victory Sunday, edging the St. Joseph Mustangs 3-2 when Trevor Jones singled home pinch-runner Tyler Langley from third base with two outs in the ninth inning.
Completing a sweep of their four games at "June" Shaffer Memorial Park stadium Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the Mudcats moved to a season-high three games over .500 overall at 12-9 and to within a game of break-even in league action at 8-9. With MINK North Division leader Clarinda losing at Joplin, Chillicothe moved to within two games of the A's and within a half-game back of St. Joseph.
The Mudcats will make up recent road rainouts with the Ozark Generals Monday, weather permitting. The teams are slated to play a 5 p.m. doubleheader at Springfield's Meador Park.
Chillicothe's winning rally Sunday night shouldn't have happened, but it exploited an inning-opening St. Joseph error.
Sam Moon reached safely when his bouncer to third base was booted to start the bottom of the ninth. Pinch-runner Langley was bunted to second base by Javier Ledesma and moved to third on a slow bouncer to shortstop that went for the second out at first.
Jones then spanked an 0-1 pitch from third Mustangs pitcher Trey Gonsalez sailing to the left of the shortstop for the game-winner.
Gaining credit for the victory for the Mudcats went to righthander Grayson Pratt (2-0), who threw 2-2/3 hitless, shutout innings in back of Tyler Stuerman, who gave his team a sturdy start that included allowing only two runs. Pratt did walk four men, including three in the eighth before shortstop Ledesma ranged to his right to spear a hard, bases-full grounder and throw to second to barely get an inning-ending forceout.
St. Joseph (12-9, 9-9 MINK) had scored the game's first run on Lucas Powers' 2-outs RBI single in the second.
The Mudcats answered with a pair in their half of the second as Moon drew a leadoff walk, was bunted up by Ledesma and scored on Tanner Bily's triple into the right-field corner in his Mudcats batting debut. Jones' fly ball to center was just deep enough to plate Bily.
The Mustangs got the tying run in the fourth on a single, a walk, another single, and Brandon Huske's hit to left. Stuerman then steadied to stranded three runners by getting a short fly ball to right and an inning-ending fly to center.