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Outlaws Rally For First Playoff Win in Franchise History

July 26, 2021

By Brennan Mense


JOPLIN, MO—Down a run entering the bottom of the eighth inning, the Joplin Outlaws rallied for three runs to defeat the Jefferson City Renegades 5-3 in the MINK League South Wild Card Game on Monday night, securing the first playoff victory in franchise history.

Joplin (22-21) was hosting a postseason contest for just the second time in franchise history, though they avenged the first one, a loss to Jefferson City (20-20) at Joe Becker Stadium that ended the 2019 season. The win sets up a matchup with the South Division champion Sedalia Bombers for a berth in the MINK League Finals.

The Outlaws roared out to a quick start in the bottom of the first inning against Renegades starter Austin Brewer. Drake Angeron led off with a single and Caleb Feuerstake drew a walk. A wild pitch advanced the pair into scoring position, but Logan Cline fouled a pitch off his helmet, which caused him to leave the game.

Jeb Jenkins finished the at-bat and struck out, but Ethan Ellis picked him up by dunking a 1-2 pitch into shallow center for an RBI bloop single, giving the Outlaws the lead. Ellis then took off for second, drawing a throw from catcher Hamilton Anderson. Feuerstake took off from third and beat the return throw home, giving the Outlaws a 2-0 on a steal of home.

After that, Brewer settled down, setting the next 15 Outlaws, a streak that extended into the sixth inning. On the other side, Jefferson City struggled to mount any early offense as Christian DeJesus set down nine of the first ten Renegades.

In the fourth, however, Brady Voss and Carter Mize led off with consecutive singles. On Mize's single, Feuerstake juggled the ball, and Voss broke for third base. Feuerstake fired to third, but the throw skipped into the dugout. When the dust settled, Voss was awarded home and Mize wound up on third.

Seth Denoyer failed to get the run home on a shallow fly ball, but Hamilton Anderson took care of matters by ripping a double just inside the first-base line that scored Mize to tie the game at two apiece.

DeJesus buckled down, though, striking out the final two batters of the inning. In the fifth, DeJesus added another punchout, his seventh of the night, which tied the Outlaws' single-season record of 53, matching Garrett Stockton's total from 2014.

DeJesus handed the ball off to Cale McAllister with one out in the sixth, who then passed things off to John Kea five outs later to start the eighth. Kea retired the first two batters of the inning, but Mize walked, moved to second on a wild pitch, and took off for third on another pitch in the dirt. Catcher Dawson Walters threw down to third, but the throw sailed into left field, scoring Mize and giving the Renegades a 3-2 lead with just six outs to go for the Joplin offense.

The Outlaws didn't even need one of those outs, though, as they rallied immediately to begin the bottom of the eighth. Angeron led off with a single, stole second, and scored on a Feuerstake single. Feuerstake moved to second on the play, then stole third, which preceeded a walk to Jenkins, who never stopped at first and continued on to second in a heads-up play.

With two on and still no outs, Ethan Ellis lined a 1-1 offering into right-center field, scoring both runners to give the Outlaws a 5-3 advantage.

Joplin failed to get Ellis home despite being at second with no out, but it didn't matter. Justin Schrader entered the game in the ninth and allowed a leadoff double, but the southpaw retired the next three batters.

Schrader finished the game in style, striking out Kolin Demel—who also was the losing pitcher for Jefferson City—on a 1-2 curveball to end the game, sending the Outlaws on to Sedalia for the right to play for the MINK League title.

Ellis was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI, while Feuerstake added two hits, two runs, an RBI, a walk, and two steals, while Angeron had two hits, two runs, and two steals.

DeJesus earned a no-decision despite going a season-high 5.1 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits, while striking out seven without walking a batter. McAllister worked 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk. Kea (2-1) allowed an unearned run on two walks, no hits, and a strikeout in his one inning, earning the win. Schrader worked around one hit and struck out two while picking up his third save.

The Joplin Outlaws will hit the road for the MINK League South Championship, which will take place tonight against the Sedalia Bombers at Liberty Park Stadium. The game will be broadcast on UclickTV on pay-per-view.


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