The inability to string hits together resulted in a loss for the Joplin Outlaws.
The visiting Ozark Generals defeated the Outlaws 4-1 on Monday night in a MINK League clash at Joe Becker Stadium.
The hosts were unable to record back-to-back hits throughout the nine-inning affair, managing just seven singles against their South Division rival on a night where the bats were mostly silent.
“Our offense was anemic tonight,” Outlaws manager Danny Weaver said. “We have to be better offensively. I don’t know, maybe we used them all up last week. I’d like to see the offense come back pretty quickly.”
Joplin slipped to 5-10 overall and 1-9 in the MINK League. Ozark improved to 6-6 overall and in league play.
Riverton product Dalton Weaver was charged with the loss for the Outlaws, but the southpaw from Pittsburg State kept his team within striking distance.
Weaver allowed just three runs on seven hits while striking out five in five innings.
Cristian Quero and Tyler McGrew threw in relief for the hosts. Quero gave up one run in two innings, while Joplin product McGrew did not allow a run in two frames of work.
“I thought our pitchers threw well enough to keep us in the game,” Danny Weaver said. “They did their job to keep us in it.”
Donovan Sutti went 3-for-4 for the Outlaws and was the team’s lone player with multiple hits. The Outlaws stranded 10 runners on-base, with two apiece in the first two frames.
Ozark lefty Owen Little earned the win after limiting the hosts to seven hits in eight innings, striking out two.
“Give credit to their guy,” Weaver said. “He pounded the zone and we didn’t make adjustments.”
For the Generals, Harrison Stevens went 4-for-5 with two runs scored, while Nicholas Proto and Blake Vandiver contributed two hits apiece.
An RBI double from Lucas Riddick in the first and a run-scoring single from Proto in the third gave Ozark an early 2-0 advantage.
The visitors increased their lead with a single tally in the fourth when Vandiver scampered home on a double steal.
Ozark tacked on a run in the seventh when Stevens singled and later scored on Proto’s RBI double to left, making it 4-0.
After failing to score in the first eight innings, the Outlaws pushed across a run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, as Marcos Villegas singled, Joe Kinder walked, Ryan Lorber was hit by a pitch and Zack Ehlen drew a bases-loaded walk.
But relief pitcher Tyson Campbell induced a game-ending ground ball off the bat of Freilin Cabrera.
“We finally made some adjustments at the plate,” Weaver said of the late rally. “I thought there was a blown call earlier in the game that gave them one run. If it would have been 3-0 in the ninth, we were a single away from tying it and we were a ball in the gap away from winning it. It was too little, too late.”
Notes: A new addition joined the Outlaws on Monday, as John Prudhom from Central Missouri suited up for the first time.
The Outlaws were scheduled to play at Nevada on Sunday night, but the date was postponed due to wet playing conditions. No make-up date has been announced.
The Outlaws host the Sedalia Bombers at 7 tonight before six-straight road games.
Also of note, the MINK League All-Star Game is scheduled for June 26 at St. Joseph.