The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

July 17, 2012

Miners earn top seed for district tournament

— The Joplin Miners are seeded No. 1 in the six-team Missouri District 15 Tournament scheduled to begin Wednesday at Webb City Post 322.

The Miners, 29-17 overall under Bobby Stackhouse, finished 9-3 in games used to determine seedings for the double-elimination postseason tourney at Barnes Field.

Monett and Carl Junction also were 9-3. But the Miners beat Monett in head-to-head criteria and Carl Junction Post 781, the District 15 AA champion, won’t participate in varsity because of a lack of players.

The schedule on Wednesday is third-seeded Mount Vernon 39ers vs. Carthage at 1 p.m., No. 4 Webb City vs. McDonald County at 4 and No. 2 Monett vs. the winner of 39ers-Carthage at 7.

Joplin debuts at 1 p.m. on Thursday against the winner of Webb City-McDonald County. Two losers’ bracket games also will be held on Thursday.

The Miners wound up their season with a 1-3 non-district effort over the weekend.

Joplin had little offense on Saturday in Oklahoma in losing games at Connors State College of Warner to Stillwater (3-1) and Three Rivers (5-0). They split games at McDonald County on Sunday — losing 11-7 to Three Rivers before beating McDonald County 11-3.

“We pitched a lot of different guys in the two days to keep them fresh for the district,” Stackhouse said Monday.

Stackhouse, who’s assisted by Brett Abell, said he isn’t sure who’ll  start on the mound for the Miners on Thursday.

“It depends on which team we’re facing,” Stackhouse said. “Our starter will come from (right-handers) Caleb Garton, Bryce Ash, Nathan Cox and Tristan Ash.

“I’m very pleased with our regular season,” Stackhouse said. “Overall, I thought we hit the ball well and pitched it well.

“Everything hinges on the defense,” Stackhouse said. “We’re a good ballclub when we play defense.”

The Miners rapped 25 hits on Sunday in the games at Anderson after managing just five singles on Saturday.

Joplln, in the loss to Three Rivers on Sunday, received two hits, including a home run, and three runs batted in from Josh Miller. Rex Whisner had two hits and one RBI.

Brett Graham stroked four hits and drove in three runs against McDonald County. Hank Millard added three hits and Miller hit his sixth homer among two safeties and drove in three runs.

Cox and right-handers Blake Brown and Millard combined to limit McDonald County to seven hits.

The Ash brothers — Bryce and Tristan — and Keith Simpson had singles against Stillwater on Saturday. Graham and Simpson delivered singles in the shutout loss to Three Rivers. Three Rivers scored its runs in the sixth inning.

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