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Joplin Takes 9-8 Slugfest over Mustangs

St. Joe drops their first game at Phil Welch Stadium this season. 
(ST. JOSEPH) The Mustangs had allowed just one run over the first three games of this weekend's home stand. 

The Outlaws figured out the St. Joe staff Saturday, hitting Stanten Jones and the bullpen early and often to outslug the Mustangs in a 9-8 decision. 

Grant Fink, fresh off being selected in the 23rd round of the Major League Baseball Draft, was a late scratch at first base. Fellow draftee Michael Schulze was in the lineup and helped build what briefly looked like a comfortable lead for the Mustangs (6-4, 4-4). 

St. Joe plated a pair of runners in the bottom of the first after Max Ayoub led off the game with a solo shot off Jones. Outlaws starter Chris Caudle gave up an unearned run in the third to put the Mustangs up 3-1 before facing Schulze in the fourth. He and Zac Johnson both put run-scoring balls in play to push the lead to 5-1.

Joplin began to pick apart Jones in the fifth, hanging three runs before sending him packing in the sixth. Ayoub knotted the game 6-5 with his third and fourth RBI of the night, forcing Northwest's Jace Anderson (0-1) to come on in relief. He failed to record an out, instead surrendering another four runs on just two hits. 

Down 9-5, Joe Koerper doubled in the sixth to plate Schulze before coming home on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to two. Shane O'Connell made it a one-run game by hitting into a fielder's choice in the next frame.

The Mustangs were able to load the bases in the ninth for Foreman, but the third baseman struck out swinging to polish off the team's first loss at Phil Welch Stadium this season. 

They're back on the road Sunday to face Clarinda with a 7 p.m. first pitch. 
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