By Ryan Atkinson
Globe Sports Writer
The Joplin Outlaws were very much a team in need of a break on Wednesday night.
The Outlaws, wrapping up a six-day stretch of eight games, committed a handful of defensive miscues — including a pair in an eventually decisive four-run second inning — and dropped an 8-4 decision to the Sedalia Bombers in a MINK League game at Joe Becker Stadium.
The loss is the third straight for the Outlaws and drops them to 5-7 overall and 3-7 in league play.
“These guys need a day off. They’ve fought hard,” Outlaws coach Rob Vessell said. “We’ve got some new faces and we’re playing some guys out of position. This time off will be much-needed.”
Rickey Rivera, a 6-foot-1 right-hander from Central Missouri, pitched a solid game for the Outlaws, going six innings and striking out six while walking none. But the four-run second stuck him with the loss.
“I thought he threw really well. He got ahead of a lot of hitters,” Vessell said. “He made a couple mistakes and left a couple pitches up and they connected pretty well, but overall he had a good outing.”
Zach Lavy led off the fateful fourth inning with what appeared to be a playable pop fly that fell in left for a single. Zach Wiegel, with one out, delivered another bloop single to left and then came home, along with Lavy, on Cody Webster’s line-drive triple to center.
Webster scored on Cartner’s bloop single to right before Curtiss Bunch hit what could have been an inning-ending double play, but the relay from second went wild and Cartner ended up at third. He then scored on DeLorenzo’s sacrifice fly.
“It’s kind been our story, and it’s what we talked about in the huddle,” Vessell said. “You can’t give a team four runs early on, especially in the MINK League, with the wood bats. It’s tough to come back from that.
“We lost 8-4 and in that inning we gave up all four runs on mistakes. We eliminate that inning and it’s a tie game.”
Matt Turner, in his first game with the Outlaws, went 3-for-4 and drove in all four runs, three of which plated Enrique Finol. Turner’s single to right in the second scored Finol, as did his RBI groundout in the seventh, which cut the Sedalia lead to 5-2.
His two-out, two-run rocket single to center in the ninth pulled the Outlaws within 8-4, but Sedalia third baseman Tony Sandifer made a nice play on Bunch’s grounder to end the game.
Also making his Outlaws debut was Alex Wise, a Neosho High School graduate and current Northeastern Oklahoma A&M player. Wise started at shortstop in his first action of the summer after an injury.
Vessell said the Outlaws will have two more new faces when they welcome Omaha to Joe Becker Stadium for a 6 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday.
“The biggest thing is we have to overcome the mistakes and right now we’re not. We’re making too many,” Vessell said. “Once we can take care of that and everyone gets used to playing with each other as a team, I’d like to see what this team can really do.”