Northwest shortstop Brandon Huske broke an eighth inning tie with a bases-loaded single and recorded three RBIs as the Mustangs beat the Fairbanks (AK) Goldpanners in their National Baseball Congress World Series opener on Saturday.
The win puts St. Joseph in the quarterfinals of the 16-team winners bracket. They will face Santa Barbara (CA) on Sunday at 7 p.m. after their 5-3 win over MINK League runner-up Sedalia.
Starter Jake Jones struck out eight batters through seven innings of work, allowing two runs on five hits. Both Fairbanks runs came in the second, courtesy of a Tanner Pinkston triple and a Jacob Hayes fielder's choice.
The Mustangs slapped 11 hits off San Jose State product Jace Puckett, who lasted 6 1/3 innings. Zac Johnson began the rally in the fourth by driving in Joe Koerper on a double. Huske then plated Tanner Lubach by grounding into a 6-3 fielder's choice.
Fairbanks reliever Andrew Muehler took the loss after pitching just one frame and allowing the go-ahead run to reach in the eighth. Huske slapped the decisive hit off Miles Chambers.