By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
A four-run fourth inning helped Joplin hold off Carl Junction 8-6 in nonconference prep baseball on Monday at Wendell Redden Stadium.
The fourth-inning salvo gave the Eagles a 6-3 lead and single tallies in the fifth and sixth innings allowed them to withstand the Bulldogs’ three-run seventh.
Blake Brown. a senior right-hander, made one pitch to secure the final out and save the contest for junior right-hander Kealin Smith.
Joplin had several big plays at the plate and in the field to stymie the Bulldogs at the Joplin Athletic Complex.
Said Carl Junction coach Flave Darnell of the loss: “It’s simple. We didn’t make plays on defense and they did. Their left fielder (Rex Whisner) made a great play.
“Plus, we left too many runners (11),” Darnell said. “We left the bases loaded three times.”
Whisner, a senior, victimized Kurtlin Hulette in the fourth inning in a two-out, bases-loaded situation.
Hulette pulled the ball to left and Whisner, turning his back to the sphere, chased it down with a lunging grab.
Whisner, an inning later, raced in to grab Zach Beyer’s two-out pop fly with a runner on third.
Joplin coach Kirk Harryman, naturally pleased with Whisner’s glove, also liked his run-scoring double and walk from the No, 9 hole.
Ditto, Harryman said, for No. 8 batsman Nathan Tackkett’s run-scoring double and walk.
Added Harryman: “Smith pitched very well (the erstwhile catcher pocketed his first decision of the season). Tackkett and Whisner had some good at-bats in the bottom of the order.”
Carl Junction jumped in front 2-0 on Tyler Armentrout’s home run after a single by Hulette in the first inning. Armentrout drove in the singling Nathan Doyle with a walk to make it 3-0 in the third inning before Tackkett and Whisner launched the Joplin in the bottom of the frame.
Joplin’s Nate Brummer spanked a two-run double to cap its four-run fourth inning.
The Eagles (9-6), rebounding from Saturday’s 13-11 loss at Neosho, received two hits apiece from Smith and Brett Graham. Brummer had three RBI.
Carl Junction (6-8) received two hits apiece from Zach Beyer, Brandon Harnar and Doyle. Nathan Landes had a two-run double in the seventh inning.
The teams resume today with Joplin entertaining Hillcrest at 4:30 p.m. in the Ozark Conference and Carl Junction playing host to Lamar at 5 p.m. in the Big 8 Conference.
Probable starting pitchers, according to the coaches, are junior right-hander Tristan Ash for the Eagles and senior right-hander Dalton Cloven for the Bulldogs.
The Eagles entertain Nevada in a makeup game on Wednesday before visiting Waynesville on Thursday in the Ozark.