The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 27, 2012

St. Peter's grand slam ignites Joplin past Lebanon

By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer

— Adam St. Peter hit an inside-the-park grand slam that capped a six-run second inning Thursday in Joplin’s 13-9 victory over Lebanon in an Ozark Conference game at South Middle School.

St. Peter, a junior first baseman, was 3-for-4 with five RBI. His two-out single in the second inning drove in Brett Graham, who had tripled.

Shortstop Bryce Ash was 3-for-4, scored twice and drove in a run, and left fielder Nate Brummer was 3-for-4 and scored twice.

“I thought it was our best offensive outing of the year,” said Joplin head coach Kirk Harryman. “We need a nice job swinging the bats, and with two outs.”

Keith Simpson led off the second inning with a double, stole third and scored on Russell’s RBI grounder. Ash’s double and walks to Chris Leonardi and Brett Graham loaded the bases for St. Peter, whose drive through the middle of the infield reached the center-field fence.

Brummer followed with a single, and after a walk to Tristan Ash, Simpson’s single drove in Brummer.

Tyler Russell lined a double off the left-field fence and scored in the third inning, then lined a two-out, two-run home run to left in the fourth inning.

“We were seeing a lot of strikes and just turned on them,” said Russell, who was 2-for-3 and drove in three runs. “We were connecting really well today.”

Right-hander Keith Simpson was the winning pitcher with relief help from Caleb Garton, who came into the game with two outs in the sixth inning. Simpson scattered 10 hits, walked two and struck out five.

“He has a great curveball,” Russell said. “It slows down a lot. It’s a big difference from his fastball.”

Lebanon’s Rocky Long was 2-for-4, including a two-run home run in the second inning. The Yellowjackets added two runs in the fourth inning on a throwing error and two runs in the fifth on an RBI double by Justin Breedlove and Tyler Bare’s sacrifice fly.

Long and David Johnson each singled in a run in a three-run seventh inning. Long scored the third run on a wild pitch.