Danny Weaver was proud of the effort.
Weaver’s Joplin Outlaws fought back from considerable deficits on two occasions on Thursday night at Joe Becker Stadium.
But the hosts could never get over the hump, as the Jefferson City Renegades hung on late for an 8-7 win over the Outlaws in MINK League action.
The Outlaws’ manager, Weaver was pleased due to the fact that his squad trimmed a five-run deficit to one midway through the contest before cutting a four-run hole down to a single tally late in the game.
“The guys kept plugging away and that was good to see,” Weaver said. “They had good swings late in the game. Our pitchers who came in did a good job of keeping us in the game. And we went into the ninth with a chance to win it.”
The Outlaws have now dropped six straight after winning their first two games of the season.
In a clash between South Division rivals that featured occasional rain showers, the Outlaws found themselves down 5-0.
After plating a run in the second, Jefferson City added four runs in the third on two singles, two hit batters, a bases-loaded walk, a fielder’s choice and an error.
Joplin got on the board in the bottom half of the third on Freilin Cabrera’s run-scoring single and Donovan Sutti’s RBI ground out.
The hosts added two runs in the fourth, as Mike Million and Alex Wheeler both walked before Zack Ehlen delivered a two-run single into right, trimming Joplin’s deficit to a single tally.
Outlaws starting pitcher Hunter Hatfield had retired seven straight batters until Peyton Leeper smacked an off-speed pitch over the fence in right field in the top of the sixth.
Later in the inning, the Renegades added two more runs—one coming home on an error and another on a wild pitch.
Outlaws right fielder Marcos Villegas scored from third on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth before Sutti launched a no-doubt two-run home run to left in the seventh, trimming Joplin’s deficit to 8-7.
Relief pitcher Austin Gottula kept the Renegades off the board in the final three frames, but the hosts were unable to push across the tying run in the final two innings.
“We didn’t know how long Austin could go, but he had some clean innings,” Weaver said. “That was big. It gave us a chance to win.”
Ehlen went 3-for-5 for the Outlaws, while Cabrera added two hits. Leeper had three hits for the Renegades (2-3).
Jefferson City’s Deejay Seelbach was the winning pitcher, while Shane Fontenot earned the save.
Hatfield was charged with the loss. A Pierce City native, Hatfield allowed four earned runs in five innings, striking out three.
Weaver’s club will look to end its skid tonight, as Joplin hosts the Springfield Cobras in a non-league clash at 7.
“We’ll get back at it tomorrow,” Weaver said. “That’s the beauty of this game.”