By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Joplin recovered from a dismal final two innings to stun Springfield Glendale in Ozark Conference prep baseball at South Middle School on Thursday.
The Eagles did it by scoring four runs — all with two outs — in the bottom of the seventh inning to prevail 7-6.
Joplin, which entertains Webb City at 1 p.m. on Saturday at South, improved to 11-11 overall and 4-4 in the league. Glendale slipped to 12-9, 5-4.
Chris Leonardi was hit by a pitch to open the Joplin seventh inning. Two outs followed before Brett Graham launched a two-run home run to left field to pull the Eagles within 6-5.
Adam St. Peter was plunked by a pitch and Nate Brummer singled to put the tying run at second base.
Tyler Russell followed with a hard infield grounder that was mishandled and St. Peter came around to tie it.
Keith Simpson then roped a single to left to score Brummer with the winning run.
“It was an inside fastball,” Simpson, a senior, said of the pitch he pulled. “I’ll take it to win a game. It’s a great win. We like to fight back.”
Said Joplin coach Kirk Harryman: “We had some good at-bats in the seventh inning. We were able to see some pitches and had hitter counts. Obviously, we had some huge hits.
“It’s good to get those hits,” Harryman said. “We’ve had spurts where we’ve flat-out scuffled on offense.”
Glendale’s Mike Snodgrass, acting as head coach in the absence of ailing coach Howard Bell, noted the Falcons were 3-0 last week.
“This week has been disappointing, though,” Snodgrass said. “We didn’t play well in losing to Lebanon. Today, we struggled early.
“But we had a 6-3 lead with two outs in the seventh inning,” Snodgrass said. “Joplin did what was necessary. ... starting with the bomb (by Graham).”
Tristan Ash, who worked two innings in relief of junior right-hander Caleb Garton, picked up the win.
Garton yielded just one hit through five innings but left after a walk, an error, a double by Josh Bunselmeyer and a triple by Evan Payne opened the sixth.
Payne doubled in the seventh inning and finished with three RBI.
Graham also doubled for the Eagles and drove in three runs. Brummer stroked three singles in four at-bats.
Harryman said that St. Peter, a junior right-hander, is the probable starting pitcher against Webb City.