The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

June 5, 2012

Big inning dooms Outlaws again

CLARINDA, Iowa — The Joplin Outlaws are headed home, finally.

But it’s not on a high note.

Another big inning spelled doom for Joplin on Monday night — this time a six-run third — and the Outlaws fell 7-6 to the Clarinda Athletics in a MINK League contest.

“We’re excited to be coming home,” Joplin coach Rob Vessel said. “We let another one get away, but we’re on the bus and the guys are already excited about playing at home in front of what we hope is a big crowd.”

The Outlaws (3-4, 2-4 MINK) open their home schedule tonight at 7 against the defending MINK champions St. Joseph at the Joplin Athletic Complex.

Pre-game ceremonies, beginning at 6:45 p.m., will dedicate the field in honor of Wendell Redden, a longtime Joplin Globe sports editor who passed away in 2011.

“We’ve covered three states in five days and been from hotel to hotel,” Vessel said. “(Tonight) will be special for us and everyone involved.”

Monday’s loss was the second straight in which a six-run inning spelled doom.

The Outlaws had a 5-1 lead going into the bottom of the third before the A’s unleashed to make it 7-5.

Neither team scored again until the Joplin struck for a single run in the top of the ninth for the final margin.

“We just walked too many guys and left too many pitches up,” Vessel said. “We really feel like we should be 6-1. In all but one of our losses we gave the game away with mistakes.”

Chris Oldner was touched for all seven runs before Eddie Smith, Aaron Snow and Trevor Blocker combined for 5 2./3 innings of scoreless relief.

“It’s key for us to get a quality start because our bullpen has been impressive,” Vessel said. “Our hitting is coming around, we just have to get more key hits in big situations.”

Zack Steadman, Justin Treece and Cody Ball had three hits apiece for Joplin. Kyle Dickens was 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI.

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