July 7, 2021
By Brennan Mense
JOPLIN, MO—After successfully rallying back from a five-run sixth inning on Tuesday against Jefferson City, the Joplin Outlaws could not do so a second time, as the Sedalia Bombers flipped a 5-2 deficit into a 7-5 lead and eventually a 9-5 win. The game finished off the first half of MINK League play for both teams.
Sedalia (12-13) moved within half a game of the Outlaws in the South Division standings, while Joplin (14-11) limps into the All-Star Game with an 11-11 league record, clinging to a half-game lead over both the Bombers and Jefferson City.
After both teams went down in order in the first, Sedalia took the early lead with a two-out rally in the second against Joplin starter John Kea. Brayden DeSonia dropped a line drive into left that Drake Angeron could not turn into a diving catch, resulting in a double. Zach Dillman followed with an RBI single, staking the Bombers to a 1-0 lead.
Joplin responded an inning later as two singles began the inning, followed by a fielder's choice. Brett Wiemers strode up to the plate with one out and runners on the corners and proceeded to deposit a 1-2 pitch from Sedalia starter Jake McMahill over the left-field wall for a three-run homer, staking the Outlaws to a 3-1 lead with his first longball of the season.
Sedalia answered in the fourth with another two-out rally, this time with DeSonia driving in Gideon Antle, but Joplin had an immediate answer.
Cade Lott lined a one-out single to right, which was followed by Brandon Ulmer ripping an RBI triple to right-center field. Two batters later, Angeron came up with a two-out hit of his own, lining a double to right to extend the lead to 5-2.
Both teams went quietly in the fifth, and Kea returned for the sixth, searching to solidify his best outing of the season. Instead, he would not record an out.
Spencer Nivens led off with a single to right, then Kea failed to put away Brandon Stahlman in a two-strike situation, leading to a walk. That brought All-Star Branden McGinnis to the plate. Kea left a 2-1 fastball in the middle of the plate, and McGinnis deposited it over the wall in left-center, tying the game at five apiece.
Kea departed after the blast in favor of Clay Saporito, but Saporito could not ground the Bombers. Saporito walked Antle and DeSonia right out of the gate, and Dillman followed with his second RBI single of the game. Jacob McWhirter followed by rolling a ground ball to first, but that brought home DeSonia, capping off a five-run inning that flipped the score to 7-5 Bombers.
From there, Sedalia only added on. The Bombers loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, with a DeSonia sacrifice fly adding a run. One frame later, a two-out walk and an infield single compounded by an error brought home the final run of the contest.
The Outlaw offense had runners on in each of the last four innings, but never had the tying run at the plate after the sixth, or the tying run on base at any point in the final four frames, despite a 4-for-4 night from Ulmer. The final two innings saw leadoff singles for Joplin disappeared immediately by a pair of 6-3 double plays, blunting any serious momentum of a comeback.
Kea went 5.0 innings plus three batters, allowing five runs on five hits, two walks, and four strikeouts in a no-decision. Saporito (0-1) allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits, two walks, and two strikeouts, taking his first loss. Jake Algee allowed an unearned run on one hit and two walks in two innings.
The Outlaws will have their final off day of the season on Thursday for the MINK League Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, which will be available on UclickTV as a special free broadcast. The Home Run Derby begins at 5:00, with the game to follow at 7:00. The next broadcast of Outlaws baseball will be on July 11 against Jefferson City. That game will be available on pay-per-view, as well as with all Joplin Outlaws and MINK League passes.