By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Drew Schulte, coach of the Joplin American Legion baseball team, had a pleasant dilemma late Saturday night in discussing the Miners’ earlier performance.
Schulte, the former Webb City High School and Pittsburg State standout, wasn’t sure which part of the Miners’ game deserved most of the credit after winning the Pryor (Okla.) Tournament.
“We had the good combination,” Schulte said of the 10-1 Miners (4-0 at Pryor).
The Miners defeated Collinsville 6-1 for the championship on Saturday night after beating Salina 13-5 in six innings in the afternoon to finish 3-0 in Pool B.
“We played very well,” Schulte said. “We hit the ball well. We were solid again on defense (errorless in the final and committing just one error against Salina). Our pitching was solid. We played some good baseball.”
Joplin, in beating Collinsville, received home runs from Brett Graham and Tristan Ash and five innings on the mound from Rex Whisner.
The left-handed Whisner scattered seven hits. Nate Brummer, a right-hander, struck out three in two hitless innings.
Ash and Graham had two hits apiece. Ash’s homer came in the first inning with a mate aboard. Graham’s homer was solo in the sixth.
Ash, a right-hander, hurled the distance against Collinsville. He allowed five hits and struck out eight.
Joplin’s Josh Miller keyed a 10-hit attack with a two-run homer in the sixth frame. Miller joined Graham, Gavin Jones and Chris Leonardi (both doubles) with two safeties. Brummer matched Miller’s two RBI.
The Miners resume by entertaining Carthage at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Wendell Redden Stadium. Probable starting pitchers for the Miners are right-handers Caleb Garton and Tyler Fancher, according to Schulte.