July 3, 2021
By Brennan Mense
JOPLIN, MO—On a night where the Joplin Outlaws had pitchers playing in the field, position players pitching, and even coaches and other decisively unathletic non-players suiting up, the Outlaws produced a lot of laughs and a lot of runs in a 12-4 win over the Joplin Playmakers on Saturday night.
The mood in the air was light from first pitch, as the Outlaws head coach Chris Dawson sent himself to the mound as the starting pitcher. The former college infielder responded by throwing two scoreless innings to start things off, in the process shaking off a painful hit by pitch sustained in his first at-bat.
The Playmakers then turned to a long line of position players for the final seven innings. Drake Angeron, making his first mound appearance in so many years that he didn't even know the answer, allowed a couple runs in the third inning to stake the Playmakers to a 2-0 lead.
The Outlaws came back with a vengeance, though, scoring once in the third and exploding in the fourth. The Outlaws plated seven runs in the fourth, an inning where they certainly would've batted around, except that the batting order was made up as the game went along, so who truly knows? When the dust settled, the Outlaws were up 8-2.
The Outlaws cruised the rest of the way, with each team picking up a few more tallies along the way. Along the way, Cale McAllister donned an American flag cape that he even wore at the plate and in the field, Chris Dawson made his way to the press box to heckle his own players as they took the mound, and Cade Lott entered the game to pitch the ninth inning to an impromptu fireworks display that more closely resembled a professional wrestler's entrance.
Jeb Jenkins even attempted to play all nine positions, checking off all three outfield spots, every infield spot, and catcher before deciding he was good and settled for becoming possibly the first person to play exactly seven positions in one game.
One of the biggest highlights of the night, though belonged to Justin Schrader. Taking his first at-bats in three years, Schrader showed no signs of rust, stroking three hits, including an inside-the-park homer in the seventh.
When asked if Schrader could possibly see action at the plate in MINK League play, Coach Dawson responded with, "Never." Hey, we tried...
The Outlaws polished off the win in impressive fashion on the mound, as Caleb Feuerstake threw two perfect innings that he finished faster than one could sing "Oh, Canada." Lott then lived up to the hype of his grand entrance (which he punctuated with a dead sprint and a slide to the mound) by striking out three of the four batters he faced to end the game.
Tonight, the Outlaws will cross state lines and head to Springdale, Arkansas for a Fourth of July exhibition against the Nevada Griffons. The game will take place at Arvest Ballpark, home of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and first pitch will be at 6:30. The game will be broadcast free of charge for all on UclickTV.