The Joplin Outlaws are no longer winless in the MINK League.
The Outlaws outslugged the Chillicothe Mudcats 20-10 in eight innings on Tuesday night at Joe Becker Stadium.
It was Joplin’s first league victory of the summer and the team’s third straight win overall.
“We needed that one,” Joplin Outlaws manager Danny Weaver said. “We got on a roll by winning a couple of nonleague games, and then we had a day off and picked it right back up tonight. It’s good to get that first league win.”
The Outlaws are now 5-6 overall and 1-6 in the MINK League.
The opener of a three-game set featured plenty of offense as the two teams combined for 30 runs on 29 hits.
Joplin recorded 18 hits. Freilin Cabrera went 4-for-6 with four runs scored and three RBI for the Outlaws, while Marco Villegas had four hits and three RBI and Zack Ehlen drove in four runs on three hits.
“We hit it pretty well tonight,” Weaver said. “We took advantage of some of their miscues, and we kept it rolling. We got contributions from up and down the lineup tonight. We made them throw the ball across the plate, and we didn’t chase a lot of pitches in the dirt tonight. And we played pretty well defensively.”
Austin Gottula was the winning pitcher. The Highland Community College product gave up two runs and struck out four in 1 2/3 innings of relief.
Chillicothe’s Garrett West was charged with the loss after he allowed four runs in two innings.
The Mudcats (5-3) scored three runs in the top of the second, but the Outlaws tied it up in the third on Cabrera’s RBI single up the middle and Joe Kinder’s two-run double to left.
The hosts notched five runs in the fourth to take an 8-3 lead. During the frame, Cabrera delivered a run-scoring double to center and Ehlen sprinted home after a wild pitch.
Later in the inning, Villegas contributed an RBI double, and Mike Million smacked a run-scoring single before Kinder came home after a wild pitch.
After surrendering eight unanswered runs, the Mudcats got a run back in the fifth.
Chillicothe then took a 9-8 lead with a five-run sixth, as Marcus Gonzalez cracked a three-run double and later scored on an error before Blaine Ray launched a go-ahead home run to left-center.
The Outlaws answered back in the bottom half of the sixth by pushing across six runs.
Damian Acosta and Ehlen both delivered run-scoring singles before Ryan Cedeno scored on a wild pitch. Ehlen charged home after a dropped third strike, and another run came home after an error.
“Every time they had a big inning, we responded,” Weaver noted. “That’s key to winning ballgames.”
Chillicothe scored once in the seventh, but the Outlaws added four runs in the bottom half on Cedeno’s single, Ehlen’s sacrifice fly, Cabrera’s triple and a single from Villegas.
In the bottom of the eighth, Joplin received an RBI ground out from Cedeno before Ehlen ended the game with an infield single.
“Any night you give up a 10-spot and win, it’s pretty nice,” Weaver said.
Joplin hosts Chillicothe again at 7 tonight.
Also of note, the Outlaws are hosting the final day of their youth camp from 9 a.m. to noon today at Joe Becker Stadium.