The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

April 17, 2012

St. Peter's gem lifts Joplin past Carl Junction

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Adam St. Peter allowed three hits and struck out 14 in Joplin’s 3-0 nonconference victory Monday against Carl Junction.

St. Peter struck out five of the first six batters he faced and ended the game by striking out Carl Junction’s last three hitters.

“I feel like that was one of my best games ever,” said St. Peter, a 6-foot-5 junior right-hander. “My velocity felt like it was the highest in a while and I was able to spot my pitches well. My offspeed pitches were working, too.

“I’m just glad I was able to hold them, and when they did put the ball in play, the defense kept it in front of them and made the play.”

Joplin scored all of its runs in the first two innings against senior left-hander Payton Walker, who scattered eight hits, walked two and struck out nine.

The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by St. Peter after Dayton Whitehead singled with one out and Brett Graham walked.

Joplin added two runs in the second inning. Keith Simpson led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Gavin Jones, who reached on an error. Chris Leonardi’s bunt single loaded the bases, and Bryce Ash hit a two-run double that drove in Simpson and Jones.

“They put pressure on our defense and executed real well on bunts,” said Carl Junction head coach Flave Darnell. “That was the difference in that inning.”

Whitehead and Simpson were 2-for-4 and Leonardi, a freshman, was 2-for-3. Meanwhile, St. Peter allowed just one hit — a single by Jaren Hulette — and walked three over the last five innings.

“He has been like that the last four times out, and he has gotten a little better each time,” said Joplin head coach Kirk Harryman. “We had better at bats early before Payton got comfortable. We did a good job with our short game and Bryce Ash had a big hit. Payton did a good job keeping us at three.”

Walker was the only Carl Junction baserunner who reached second base with his leadoff double in the bottom of the first inning. He retired nine Joplin batters in a row through the middle innings until Chris Leonardi’s two-out double in the sixth.

“Payton threw the ball real well and their guy threw real well,” Darnell said. “One bad pitch or a miscue in a tight game and that’s the result.”

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