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Wiemers Whacks Two Homers as Outlaws Edge A's 6-5

July 16, 2021

By Brennan Mense


JOPLIN, MO—Brett Wiemers crushed two homers as part of a 4-for-4 night and the Joplin Outlaws used some daring baserunning to pull ahead late as they snapped a ten-game winning streak by the Clarinda A's on Friday night at Joe Becker Stadium.

Joplin (17-16) watched a four-run lead evaporate, but twice rallied to re-capture the lead in the later innings before an eighth inning tally off a dropped third strike was enough for the Outlaws to pull ahead for good and deal Clarinda (31-5) a rare loss.

The night started on bizarre terms as the Outlaws learned they had backed in to the MINK League playoffs due to COVID-19 issues within the Nevada Griffons organization, resulting in the Griffons having the remainder of their season cancelled and eliminating them from playoff contention.

Once the game got going, though, the Outlaws turned their focus on the A's, who had already wrapped the MINK League North Division a few days prior.

Clarinda starter Steve Spurgeon Jr. and Joplin hurler Jack O'Brien trade zeros for two innings, as both teams wasted leadoff baserunners in the early frames. However, Spurgeon blinked first in the third inning, as Brett Wiemers turned on a 1-0 pitch and hit a moonshot just inside the left-field foul pole for a solo home run, his second of the season.

The very next frame, the Outlaws struck for a bigger inning. Drake Angeron led off with a single, stole second, and moved to third on a throwing error. Cam Pfafman followed with a ground ball to short that scored Angeron, but the throw pulled first baseman Trevor Andrews off the bag, allowing Pfafman to reach on another error.

After a sacrifice bunt and a groundout moved Pfafman over to third, Wiemers strode to the plate for the second straight inning. This time, Wiemers took advantage of an 0-2 mistake and lined it deep to left-center, just clearing the left field fence for a two-run homer, his second in as many innings. The Joplin lead now was 4-0.

However, the lead was quickly whittled down by Clarinda. In the fifth, the A's got to O'Brien, who had only allowed one hit in the first four innings. After a leadoff walk, two singles loaded the bases with no outs for Isaiah Marquez, who ripped a 1-0 delivery down the left-field line for a two-run double.

With two men in scoring position in a two-run game, O'Brien buckled down and induced a pop-up before a groundout brought home a third run in the frame. The right-hander was able to induce a flyout, though, to keep the Outlaws in front, 4-3.

O'Brien faced the minimum in a seven-pitch sixth inning, earning him an opportunity to become the first Outlaws starter to pitch in the seventh inning this year. That came to an end quickly, though, as Dylan Bailey led off with a double. Austin Gottula then entered the game, but his second pitch was lined into left field by Isaac Lopez, scoring Bailey to tie the game.

That began a pattern of the Outlaws and A's playing tug-o-war with single tallies. Against reliever Jonathan Carlos, Joplin loaded the bases with no outs for Cade Lott, who gave Joplin the lead back with a sacrifice fly. Carlos was able to limit the damage to just the single tally, though, but the Outlaws now led 5-4.

Once again, Clarinda fought right back, this time against John Kea. Kea was greeted by two singles, the second of which was a bunt compounded by an error that put two men in scoring position with no outs. An infield single by Patrick McGinn tied the game, with still no outs.

After a stolen base again put two in scoring position, Kea stepped up, striking out Jeff Clarke and Bailey looking. A two-out walk to Lopez loaded the bases, but Kea fanned Marquez for the final out, keeping the game squared at five apiece.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Outlaws used their speed to take the lead once and for all. Angeron drew a leadoff walk and promptly stole second, his third steal of the night. Pfafman moved him to third on a dribbler to the pitcher, which set the stage for Ethan Lopez with one out and Angeron at third.

Lopez first attempted a safety squeeze bunt, but fouled it away. After a swing and a miss, Lopez whiffed on an 0-2 pitch in the dirt, forcing a throw to first to complete the dropped third strike. On the throw down, though, Angeron took off from third and beat the return throw home, putting the Outlaws in front.

Jake Algee entered the game in the ninth inning and worked around a two-walk, inducing a fly out from Taylan Mullins-Olm to end the game, securing a impressive win for the Outlaws.

Wiemers went 4-for-4 with the two homers, three RBI, and two runs scored. In the process, he became the first Outlaw to notch a multi-home run game since 2018. Angeron reached base three times and stole three bases, scoring twice.

O'Brien matched a season high with 6.0 innings pitched, allowing four runs on five hits, with two walks and four strikeouts. Gottula worked one inning, allowing a hit. Kea (1-1) allowed three hits and a run in his one inning of work, striking out three and earning the win. Algee tossed a hitless ninth, walking one and earning his second save.

The Outlaws will play their penultimate home game of the season tonight as they look to sweep the two-games from Clarinda. Tonight's game will begin at 7:00 at Joe Becker Stadium and will be available on pay-per-view, as well as with all Joplin Outlaws and MINK League passes.


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