Mustangs Excel In Mantle Classic
Led by shutout pitching, the McDonald County Mustangs baseball team won its three-team pool at the 14th annual Mickey Mantle Baseball Classic only to see the championship game canceled due to cold and snow.
Charlie Moore tossed a two-hitter to lead the Mustangs to an 8-0 win over Diamond in the opener played on April 5 at Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin. The junior righthander struck out nine and walked just one in a complete game shortened to five innings due to the run rule.
McDonald County scored all the runs it would need with three in the bottom of the first. Ty Shaver led off the inning with a single. With one out, Joe Brown and Moore were hit by pitches to load the bases. Tyler Stoutsenberger drove in a run with a fly ball to center with a second run scoring on an error. Omar Manuel drove in the final run of the inning with a single.
The Mustangs added two runs in the second on singles by Jordan Platter and Brown and two walks and an error.
In the third, McDonald County scored a run on two walks, a passed ball and a double steal, with Platter stealing home for the run.
McDonald County scored two runs in its final at-bat in the
bottom of the fourth. A single by Shaver, three walks and a pair of fielders-choice ground balls gave McDonald County an 8-0 lead and, when Moore retired the side in order in the top of the fifth, the game was called.
Shaver had two of the Mustangs’ five hits. Brown, Manuel and Platter accounted for the other three.
McDonald County scored its only run of the game in the fourth inning, but Cade Smith and Raygan Bradley made it hold up in the Mustangs’ 1-0 win over Locust Grove in McDonald County’s second pool game on April 5, this one at Commerce High School.
Smith went the first six innings, allowing four hits while striking out five and walking two. Bradley worked the seventh, making it exciting before getting the last out with bases loaded on a three-two count ground ball to Boston Dowd at shortstop.
Bradley retired the first two hitters of the inning, but back-to-back hits put runners on first and second. An error on a ground ball loaded the bases, setting the stage for the do-or-die 3-2 pitch.
Dowd led off the fourth inning with a single. He stole second and went to third on a single by Brown before scoring what turned out to be the game-winner on Moore’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Dowd’s and Brown’s singles in the fourth were the only hits McDonald County could muster off of toughluck loser Josh Bible. Bible also had two hits in the game, but it was him that Bradley retired to end the game.
McDonald County, winners of its last six out of seven, improves to 8-4 for the season. The Mustangs began conference play against East Newton on April 10 before hosting Cassville on April 12 in another Big 8 Conference matchup.
McDonald County wasted a fine pitching performance by Dowd in a 2-1 loss to Webb City on April 4 at Webb City High School.
Dowd allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits, while striking out four and walking one in six innings.
Webb City’s Tyler Martin, a University of Nebraska signee, held the Mustangs to one run on two hits while striking out 15 and walking one.
McDonald County shortstop Reece Cooper dives for a ground ball during the Mustangs’ 2-1 loss to Webb City on April 4 at Webb City High School.
McDonald County’s Oakley Roessler dives back to first after reaching on an infield hit in the Mustangs’ 2-1 loss to Webb City on April 4 at Webb City High School.