By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Joplin turned on the extra-base power in beating Springfield Hillcrest 12-2 in five innings in Ozark Conference prep baseball at Wendell Redden Stadium in the Joplin Athletic Complex on Tuesday.
Joplin scored seven runs in the first inning and finished with eight extra-base hits — a home run, two triples and five doubles — among 13 safeties in the contest.
Three doubles and a triple came in the first inning as the Eagles improved to 10-5 overall and 2-1 in the Ozark.
The Hornets, who had four hits against junior right-hander Tristan Ash, fell to 2-13 overall and 1-2 in the conference.
Joplin returns to Redden at 4:30 p.m. today with a makeup varsity-junior varsity doubleheader against Nevada.
Brett Graham was 3-for-3 with a solo homer — the fifth of the campaign for the right-handed batter — a double and three RBI to pace the Joplin attack.
Said Joplin coach Kirk Harryman: “We came out and hit the ball very well. We worked ourselves into good hitting counts. I was pleased with batters one through nine.
“This may have been the best outing of the season for Ash.” Harryman said. “He consistently got ahead of the hitters. He pitched to contact rather than pitch too fine.”
Nate Brummer singled to open the first inning for Joplin and swiped second. Graham scored Brummer with a one-out double.
The floodgates opened with two outs. Ash doubled home Graham. Colton Johnson doubled in courtesy runner Chase Hall. Gavin Jones singled to score courtesy runner Johnny Maturino. Kealin Smith was hit by a pitch and followed Jones across the plate on a triple by Rex Whisner. An error produced the seventh tally.
Joplin scored three runs in the second inning. Graham homered, Adam St. Peter singled and eventually scored on Ash’s single. Jones’ two-bagger off the fence in left plated Hall.
Graham singled in a doubling Brummer in the third inning and Jones’ sacrifice fly plated Maturino, running for the tripling Johnson, in the fourth.
Collin Irvine and Clint Raber drove in the Hillcrest runs in the fourth inning.
Said Hillcrest coach Ryan Schaffitzel: “I’m not pleased with the outcome. But I was pleased with our attitudes and effort.”
Harryman said Blake Brown, a senior right-hander, or junior right-hander Tyler Fancher will start on the mound against Nevada.