The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

July 23, 2012

Familiar foes await Joplin Miners in zone tournament

The Joplin Miners American Legion baseball team will find familiar opponents in this week’s Missouri AAA Division Zone 3 Tournament at Carthage.

The Miners, District 15 champions, open at 2 p.m. on Thursday against host Carthage at Carl Lewton Stadium.

Springfield Hillcrest, from District 17, and the Nevada Red Sox (District 6) clash at 5. Winners are scheduled to play at 8 to complete the first day of three.

District 16 won’t be represented as West Plains opted for the Division AA State Tournament.

Joplin, coached by Bobby Stackhouse and Brett Abell, has a record of 32-17 after sweeping three games to win District 15 at Webb City.

Stackhouse said the Miners are 5-0 against Carthage, 1-1 against Nevada and 0-2 against Hillcrest.

The losses to Hillcrest came in the Carl Junction Post 781 Tournament early in the season.

Stackhouse said Monday the Miners, except for center fielder Gavin Jones, should have all of their players available. Jones will be vacationing in Florida, Stackhouse said.

“We decided that Bryce Ash is versatile enough to play center field,” Stackhouse said. “He’s our best option after thinking about it. He has speed and obviously can cover the ground.”

Ash, a middle infielder/pitcher, has signed a baseball letter of intent with Missouri Valley College of Marshall.

He will be flanked by his brother Tristan Ash in right field and Nate Brummer in left field.

Nevada ironically reached Zone 3 in 2011 as the District 15 champion by going 4-0 at Monett. Nevada was shifted to District 6 this year.

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