The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 15, 2013

Outlaws resume MINK League action against Omaha

By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer

— After a two-day break, the Joplin Outlaws will resume their MINK League schedule with a doubleheader against the Omaha Diamond Spirit at 6 p.m. today at Joe Becker Stadium.

The Outlaws (5-7), who are about one-fourth of the way into their 47-game regular-season schedule, made some additions to their roster this week. The players worked out with their new teammates at Thursday’s practice.

“It’s good to get two days off, get a team practice in and some reps,” said head coach Rob Vessell. “We still have a long ways to go and hopefully we can get things going.

“If we’re going to make a run, we need to do it during this home stretch because we’re going to be on the road nearly all of July.”

The Outlaws will play 12 games at home over the next 11 days with two doubleheaders and one day off. Beer will be served at  today’s doubleheader.

Among the new faces:

• Zach McKnight, pitcher, Arkansas-Monticello. As a freshman right-hander from Bentonville this spring, McKnight was 4-2 in nine starts for the Boll Weevils with a 3.82 ERA. He pitched two innings Tuesday night against St. Joseph.

• Matt Turner, infielder, Arkansas-Fort Smith. Turner played second base and was 3-for-4 with two RBI in his Outlaws debut Wednesday night. He played last spring at Carl Albert State in Poteau, Okla.

• Travis Northern, pitcher, Delta State. Northern pitched in 10 games, including four starts, as a junior for the Statesmen and was 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA. Northern, who pitched for the Outlaws last summer, is a product of Cassville High School and Crowder College.

• Austin McClain, outfielder, Delta State. As a redshirt freshman, he was a reserve for the Statesman last spring. He batted .369 with six home runs as a senior at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, Tenn.

“Matt Turner’s off to a good start,” Vessell said. “We’ll have McClain out in center (tonight).

“We have to clean up our defense and fix the mistakes we’re making,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll be ready to go.”