By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
Koby Chadick belted a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning, and the Joplin Outlaws defeated the Sedalia Bombers 6-3 on Thursday night at Joe Becker Stadium.
“I was up 1-0 in the count, so I knew he had to come with a strike,” said Chadick, an outfielder from Arkansas-Fort Smith. “He just left the fastball high and inside. I picked it up early and just tried to put a good swing on it.”
After Joplin entered the bottom of the fifth trailing 3-2, Chadick pulled the ball over the left-field fence to cap a four-run inning for the Outlaws. Lefty relievers Trey Watson and Aaron Bedsworth secured the win, allowing no runs over the final three innings.
The Outlaws, who beat Chillicothe 18-1 Wednesday night, have won three of their last four. Joplin improved to 9-9 overall and 7-9 in the MINK League.
“Everything’s just carrying over to the next day,” Joplin coach Rob Vessell said. “It’s really positive to see. Our offense is swinging the bat. We’re playing great defense. We’re getting good quality starts from our pitching staff, and our bullpen has been lights out for us. Hopefully, we can carry this over to tomorrow night.”
Relieving Travis Northern in the top of the fifth, Watson didn’t allow a hit against the first nine batters he faced.
Sedalia’s Zach Lavy led off the eighth with a single against Watson. Zach Weigel then reached on an error, and Jess Cartner singled to load the bases with two outs. Randy Medellin hit into a fielder’s choice to end the Bombers’ threat.
Bedsworth pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts.
Vessell said he liked the matchup for his two lefties out of the bullpen.
“Sedalia had six lefties in the lineup, so we knew with Watson we had a good matchup,” he said. “The lefty on lefty matchups really shut down their offense after Watson and Bedsworth came into the game.”
Joplin’s offense was sparked by a 3-for-4 outing and two runs scored from leadoff hitter Matt Turner, who joined the Outlaws last week.
“Every since he joined us, he’s been swinging the bat really well,” Vessell said. “He had the shot tonight at leading off, and he did everything he’s suppose to do. He was on base three times. To get that out of your leadoff is really big.”
Turner led off the first inning with a single up the middle, and Max Ayoub knocked him in to give the Outlaws a 1-0 lead.
Joplin scored again in the fourth after Ayoub singled, and Brian Wuest cracked an RBI double.
The rally in the fifth started when Logan Bradley reached on an error. Zach Barton singled, and Turner followed with an RBI single before Chadick’s home run.
The Outlaws play Nevada at 7 tonight at Joe Becker Stadium. Joplin will be having its second annual Outlaw Cancer event to generate funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks. Outlaws players and coaches will be wearing pink to promote breast cancer awareness.