JOPLIN, Mo. — Offense came early and often for the Joplin Outlaws in their 11-10 win over the Nevada Griffons on Monday inside Joe Becker Stadium.
The ball was flying around the yard, but the score remained close throughout, as the Outlaws scored eight runs in the first three innings and held off a late rally by Nevada to get the win.
Joplin recovered from an early, four-run deficit by tying the game at 4-4 in second inning on the strength on a two-run double to center field by Calem Nutting and a pair of RBI singles from Zack Ehlen and Jeff Wetzler.
Nevada regained the lead with a run in the third inning, but the Outlaws came through for four more runs in their half of the frame to take a 8-5 advantage.
A one-out home run to left field off the bat of Blake Wynn sparked Joplin’s offense, before a base hit by Kaleb DeLatorre and back-to-back walks loaded the bases.
Ehlen drove in the second run of the inning on a single through the left side of the infield and Wynn added two more runs with a double down the right-field line.
Joplin plated three insurance runs in the fifth, which ended up being the difference in the win.
The inning was highlighted by a two-run double to left field by Matt Delavega and included an RBI single from Ehlen.
Holding a six-run lead in the seventh inning, Joplin’s relief pitcher Justice Hylton found himself in hot water after walking the first two batters and hitting the third to load the bases.
The Griffons scored their first run of the inning on a fielder’s choice, but the Outlaws traded an out for a run in the following at-bat for a chance to limit the damage to one.
After hitting a batter to load the bases for a second time, Hylton handed the ball over to Jacob Compton out of the bullpen.
Compton’s appearance didn’t start promising — after walking the first two batters he faced — but he bounced back with a much-needed strikeout to end the frame.
Compton found himself back in a jam to begin the eighth, as three consecutive base hits loaded the bases.
A tough hop on a groundball in the next at-bat resulted in an error and allowed the Griffons to score two runs and pull to within one.
With two runners in scoring position, a pop fly in the infield gave the Outlaws their first out of the inning, before Compton worked himself out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts to leave the runners stranded.
A leadoff single put the Griffons back in business to begin the ninth, but Compton held on to record the save, as a pair of groundouts and a flyout ended the game.
AT THE DISH
Ehlen was a big part of the win, driving in three runs on three hits with two runs scored from the leadoff spot.
Wetzler also had a day to remember, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs, a run scored and a walk.
ON THE BUMP
It wasn’t a perfect outing for Hylton, but he earned the win out of the pen nonetheless, giving up three runs on one hit with three strikeouts through 3.1 innings of work.
Compton was awarded the save with two earned runs on four hits with three strikeouts through 2.1 innings.
Jordon Muesser had a no-decision as the starter, with five earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts in 3.1 innings.
The Outlaws will conclude their two-game set against Nevada in the final home game of the season at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Joe Becker Stadium.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.