By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
CARTHAGE, Mo. —
Joplin’s Adam St. Peter bested Carthage’s Drew Bridges 3-2 in a nifty showdown of junior right-handers in high school baseball on Saturday.
St. Peter allowed four hits, struck out 15 and walked four.
Bridges, who yielded just one earned run, scattered eight hits, struck out seven and walked one.
St. Peter also rapped three singles in spacious Carl Lewton Stadium – still captivating after all these seasons — in the meeting of ancient rivals in Carthage Municipal Park.
Said Carthage coach Mike Godfrey: “Both pitchers threw very well. St. Peter made some big pitches when we had runners in scoring position.
“You can’t make mistakes in these kind of games,” Godfrey said. “We gave them some opportunities.”
Said Joplin coach Kirk Harryman: “Adam (St. Peter) really has thrown the ball well in four of his last five outings.
“His best pitching performance of the season? This one is up there,” Harryman said.
“This is a great win,” Harryman said. “We were able to beat an outstanding pitcher and a very good team. This illustrates the strength of the upcoming (Class 4) district tournament at Republic. All of the teams in the tournament could win it.”
The nonconference result left Joplin 10-11 and Carthage 10-8.
Said St. Peter: “The fastball was my main pitch and the curve was effective when needed.
“Maybe it’s my second best performance of the season (behind a 14-strikeout effort at Carl Junction). This win, though, is just as nice,” a grinning St. Peter said.
Joplin scored an unearned run in the first inning. Bryce Ash reached on an error, moved up on Dayton Whitehead’s single and tallied on Brett Graham’s double.
Carthage bounced back in the bottom of the first inning with two outs.
Bridges singled and Seth Beckner doubled home courtesy runner Keaton Giett. Dalton Stafford then singled in Beckner.
Whitehead drew a one-out walk and swiped second to ignite Joplin in the second inning. Graham reached on a wild throw to first after a strikeout to place runners on the corners.
St. Peter then singled to deep shortstop on which Tiger Jordan Musser just missed making a great play. That scored Whitehead and Graham eventually scored on a two-out error.
Stafford’s leadoff double in the fourth inning was the only Carthage safety after the first. St. Peter’s response to that threat was three strikeouts.
Giett and Sam Carlton worked St. Peter for passes to start the fifth inning and were on third and second when St. Peter recovered to strike out the heart of the Carthage order — Gabe Franklin, Beckner and Bridges. The hard-hitting Bridges was called out on a 3-2 breaking pitch.
St. Peter had at least one strikeout each frame and three times whiffed a trio of Tigers.
Stafford and Eagle second baseman Chris Leonardi had two hits apiece.
“We had just enough offense,” Harryman said.