By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Solid pitching in both games and robust hitting in the opener carried the Joplin Miners to a sweep of Cassville Post 118 in American Legion baseball on Friday night at Wendell Redden Stadium.
Joplin won the first game 12-2 in five innings behind a 17-hit attack and the two-hit pitching of right-hander Caleb Garton.
The Miners won the five-inning second contest 4-2 as right-handers Colton Johnson, who worked the first two frames, and Blake Brown allowed five hits.
Joplin (23-6 overall), by taking the opener, improved to 7-2 in games used to set seedings for the postseason District 15 Tournament at McDonald County.
Garton, a graduate of Joplin High School, didn’t allow an earned run. The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder yielded singles to Alex Dyer and Austin Hancock, struck out four, walked none and hit two batters.
Said Joplin coach Drew Schulte: “Garton pitched well. He worked ahead of the hitters, located his pitches and obviously threw strikes. He was savvy, too.
“Basically, our bats took control with those three runs in the second (inning) and four in the third,” Schulte said.
The 12 runs gave Joplin 112 in its last 10 games, assistant Bobby Stackhouse said.
The Miners received three hits from second baseman Johnny Maturino and two apiece from shortstop Chris Leonardi, center fielder Gavin Jones, first baseman Brett Graham, right fielder Johnson, designated hitter Brown and catcher Tyson Hardee.
Graham drove in three runs. A triple by Leonardi, who also doubled, drove in two tallies.
Johnson was credited with the win in Game 2 and Brown logged the save. Each permitted one run.
Left fielder Rex Whisner had two hits and Jones stroked a two-run single for Joplin in the second game. Jones’ blow in the second inning gave the Miners a 3-1 lead.
Marcus Weatherman had two hits for Post 118.
The Miners resume at 6 p.m. Monday by entertaining Carl Junction Post 781. It’s a District 15 game and also will determine the championship of the Post 781 Tournament previously postponed by wet grounds, Schulte said.
Cassville resumes at 5 p.m. on Tuesday against Joplin in a makeup outing.
Cassville assistants Ricky Vanderpool and David Dyer guided Post 118 on Friday in the absence of Kyle Wood and Danny Powers.