Mudcats lefthander Vin Roth wins his fifth
ST. JOSEPH ♦ One night after being officially eliminated from the MINK League's North Division title chase with a fifth-straight league loss, the Chillicothe Mudcats college-level wood-bat baseball team turned executioner Wednesday night, terminating the St. Joseph Mustangs' North title hopes and allowing the Clarinda (Iowa) A's to clinch the crown via a 9-3 Chillicothe victory at St. Joseph's venerable Phil Welch Stadium.
Clarinda began last evening with a "magic number" of two to secure the North Division championship and got just what it needed to bring that to zero – a home win over Omaha Diamond Spirit and a Mustangs loss to the Mudcats. The timing sequence was such that the A's actually officially wrapped up the title themselves as their victory concluded six minutes after St. Jo-seph's loss to Chillicothe.
The Mudcats improved to 16-20 in the league and 22-21 overall in 2013.
Clarinda will meet either Nevada or Sedalia in the best-of-3 MINK League championship series next week. Nevada leads Sedalia by one game in the South Division race with Nevada having five league games remaining – four at home – and Sedalia three. After being idle last night, those two teams will meet at Nevada both tonight and Saturday.
Wednesday's Chillicothe victory, which clinched at least a split of the 6-game season series with its closest geographic rival, was keyed by a 3-runs rally with two outs in the second inning that gave the Mudcats a 4-0 lead and Derek Birginske's 2-outs, 3-runs double in the fourth that caped a 4-runs inning as the Mudcats turned a 4-2 lead after three into a more-comfortable 8-2 advantage.
As things turned out, the 4-2 margin would have been enough for Chillicothe to win as New York State left-hander Vin Roth threw a 119-pitches complete game, despite allowing a dozen hits. Improving his season record to a team-best 5-1 while bringing his earned run average below 4.00 for the first time this summer, Roth made a lot of big pitches at key times and aided his and the team's cause by throwing strikes – he walked only one and did not hit anyone.