The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 22, 2013

Nevada blanks Outlaws on Pink Out night

By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer

— Four Nevada pitchers combined for a six-hit shutout as the Griffons defeated the Joplin Outlaws 3-0 in a MINK League game Friday night at Joe Becker Stadium.

The largest crowd since opening night — an estimated 500 fans — turned out for the Outlaws’ Pink Out at the Ball Park. The Outlaws wore pink T-shirts that were auctioned after the game and sold memorabilia to help raise funds for local breast cancer support groups.

The Outlaws loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning when Ryan McKay, who came on in relief at the start of the inning, walked three of the four batters he faced. He was relieved by Mitch Weis, who ended the game by striking out the last two batters.

Outlaws reliever Dean Deetz, in his third appearance, shut out the Griffons on one hit over the last 4 2/3 innings. He walked none and struck out one.

“That’s the first time I’ve pitched more than two innings,” said Deetz, who will play this fall at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College at Miami. “It felt good. I was mainly just spotting my fastball. Good defense, too.”

The Outlaws (9-10, 7-10 MINK League) will face Clarinda, Iowa in a doubleheader at 6 p.m. today at Joe Becker Stadium. The third game of the three-game series is set for 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Griffons, leading 1-0, loaded the bases in the top of the fifth inning on two infield hits and a walk against Outlaws starter Jake Stevenson.

After Deetz relieved Stevenson, Nevada designated hitter Tanner Glore drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. An error allowed the second run of the inning to score.

“Dean did a great job and kept us right where we needed to be to give us a chance to win,” said Outlaws head coach Rob Vessell.

Deetz, who played at Nixa High School, said this summer is the first time he has pitched competitively since he underwent Tommy John surgery on March 9, 2012.

Outlaws second baseman Zach Barton, who was 2-for-3 with a walk, was denied a third hit when Nevada second baseman Alex Lang made a diving stop to his left in the seventh inning and threw Barton out on a close play at first base.

“I kept getting fastballs inside and I was just trying to hit a line drive to right field,” Barton said. “I was struggling at the beginning, but I’ve been hitting balls a lot harder in the last week.”

Nevada took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Lang, who was 2-for-4 and scored two runs, led off with a single and later scored on a fielder’s choice.

Meanwhile, Griffons starter Sam Hilliard shut out the Outlaws on six singles and a walk through the first six innings. Dylan Hay pitched two innings of hitless relief.