By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer
SPRINGDALE, Ark. —
Max Ayoub drove in the tying run with a single in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Joplin Outlaws and the Nevada Griffons played to a 3-3 tie in an exhibition game Thursday night at the Northwest Arkansas Naturals’ Arvest Ballpark.
After the game, a near-capacity crowd estimated at 6,000 watched a 15-minute fireworks display.
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom the ninth, Zac Stewart’s triple to left-center field drove in pinch hitter Logan Bradley, who was hit by a pitch. An out later, Ayoub’s ground ball through the middle of the infield tied the score.
“We realized the crowd was behind us when we started making a comeback,” said Outlaws starting pitcher Jake Stevenson, who allowed one run on four hits through the first seven innings. He walked one and struck out three.
“I was absolutely pumped up,” Stevenson said. “When I fouhd out I was pitching, I had a little gitty-up. It’s something we’ll never forget, absolutely.”
Stevenson shut out the Griffons until designated hitter Tanner Glore tied the game in the seventh inning with a leadoff home run to left field.
The Griffons took a 3-1 lead in the eighth on a leadoff walk to Jack Goihl, a single by Chris Scroggins, an RBI grounder by Alex Lang and an error.
The Outlaws had taken a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Nick Moore scored on Colton Krokroskia’s two-out single
“It was a great stadium, great fans, a lot of whom cheered for us,” said Moore, who was 2-for-4. “The guys just had a great time.
“At first, we were upset we couldn’t play more,” he said. “But after we came up here, we realized we put on a good show for these people.”
Stewart was 3-for-5 and Ayoub was 2-for-3. Nevada’s Scroggins was 2-for-4. Joplin resumes its MINK League schedule with a game at 7 p.m. today at Sedalia.
“To play in front of over 6,000 people, and both teams played very well,” said Outlaws head coach Rob Vessell. “Our guys played hard and fought all 10 innings. This was a great team confidence booster.”