Mustangs Clinch MINK League Championship Berth with Split in Chillicothe

Published 07/20 2014 11:35PM

Updated 07/21 2014 12:28AM

(CHILLICOTHE, Mo.) For the third time in four years, the St. Joseph Mustangs will play in the MINK League's final weekend. 

Mike Sherburne's go-ahead RBI in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader in Chillicothe gave the Mustangs the MINK League North Division Championship. A 4-2 loss in the second meeting prevented the Mustangs from clinching home field advantage in the MINK League Championship series. St. Joseph will host at least one of three games against Sedalia. 

The meeting at Phil Welch Stadium will come either Wednesday or Thursday, with the series concluding on Friday if a decisive game is necessary. 

Joe Koerper drove in the first run of the night in the first inning Sunday, plating Trent Hill with a single. 

Reyn Sugai tied it at 1-1 in the fourth with his own run-scoring single off Dixon Marble. It was the only run allowed for Marble, who gave up six hits with no strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. 

The Mustangs had the bases loaded with no outs in the sixth, but Koerper hit into a 5-4-3 triple play to end the scoring chance.

Chillicothe had the same chance in the bottom of the seventh, but Hill struck out three straight batters in relief to send the game to extras.

Shelburne's difference-maker came in the eighth when his single up the third base line slowed in the infield, allowing Ryan Abernathy to score. 

Blake Kolons took the loss in Game 2 after pitching a stellar first five innings. Down 2-1, the Mudcats plated three runs in the bottom of the sixth to chase Colons and take their ultimate 4-2 advantage. 

The Mustangs wrap up the regular season on Monday in Clarinda. 

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