Joplin’s bats were held in check by Nevada’s Chase Beiter, who was dominant on the bump while leading the Griffons to an 8-0 win on Monday at Joe Becker Stadium in MINK League action.
The Griffons scored a run in the top of the first to take the game’s initial lead, which turned out to be all the help Beiter would need after tossing a complete-game shutout to earn the win. He scattered three hits, walked two and struck out 10 Outlaws on 122 pitches in his nine innings of work. Nevada added three runs in the sixth and four more in the eighth to pull away.
“Hats off to their pitcher,” Joplin manager Chris Dawson said. “He did an amazing job today. Sometimes that happens. Good pitching will beat good hitting … He was a dude tonight.”
Joplin’s Reese Weaks, who did a good job of working around traffic on the base paths for much of his start, was saddled with the loss after allowing one run on nine hits, three walks and eight strikeouts in five innings of work.
“That is when you see his promise,” Dawson noted about Weaks’ ability to strand runners on base against the Griffons. “He is able to punch guys out and strike guys out with runners in scoring position. When he has a secondary pitch that he can command and control, he is going to be pretty filthy.”
Austin Gottula allowed three runs, one earned, on two hits, four walks and two strikeouts in two relief innings for the Outlaws (8-6). Ward Richardson allowed two runs on two hits without recording an out, while Cole White allowed two runs on one hit and a walk in a third of an inning. Jake Algee pitched 1 2/3 scoreless relief innings, allowing one hit and striking out two.
BETWEEN THE LINES
Nevada took the initial lead with a run crossing home in the top of the first inning. Alec Telles collected the third hit of the inning for the Griffons with a two-out, run-scoring single to center field.
The Griffons looked as if they would add to the lead in the top of the second when Khale Good singled through the left side with runners on first and second only for Ethan Lopez to throw out Cameron Saso at the plate trying to score from second to keep the score at 1-0.
“Anytime you can cut someone down at the plate, it’s obviously momentum for you,” Dawson said. “That was one positive to build on early in the game. … We just couldn’t capitalize on it.”
Nevada again threatened in the top of the fourth after using two walks and an infield hit to load the bases with one out. Weaks earned back to back strikeouts to end the inning with the bags still full.
“When guys can come in here and work through some adversity and get out of it, it’s good for their benefit and player development,” Dawson said. “That was good for him. He is one of our better arms. … To be able to work out of that fourth inning and go back out and have what I think was a 1-2-3 fifth was huge.”
After threatening to add insurance for much of the game, the Griffons broke through for three runs in the top of the sixth inning. Tyler Davis, who singled to lead off the frame, later came around to score on a wild pitch for the first run. Brayland Skinner came home when Good drew a walk with the bases loaded before Jesse Fonteboa grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to score the third run of the inning.
The Outlaws, who currently lead the South Division by a game, looked to cut into the lead in the bottom of the seventh after Jared Toler singled and Brett Wiemers doubled with two outs to give Joplin a pair of runners in scoring position. Brandon Ulmer lined out to center field to end the threat.
“I wish we could have (started that rally) maybe before there were two outs,” Dawson said with a laugh. “Sometimes that happens. … (Ulmer) barreled up a baseball but it just found a glove. Those were good at-bats by those three guys.”
Nevada added a fifth run in the top of the eighth when Good singled home a run with a single. Good came around to score later in the inning on a wild pitch to make the score 6-0. A hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded forced in the seventh run, with Telles adding an RBI single later in the inning to make the score 8-0.
IN THE BOX
Wiemers’ double was the only extra-base hit for the Outlaws in the loss. Caleb Fuerstake and Toler each singled for Joplin.
Jack Swisher led the Griffons with a perfect 5-for-5 game at the plate and also scored two runs. Good had two hits, two RBI and a run scored. Telles was 2-for-5 with an RBI, and Davis had two hits, scored a run and drove in a run.
Joplin hits the road for a matchup at Jefferson City on Tuesday.