MAC crushes six homers to seal sweep of Archers | Baseball

PARK HILLS – Derek Williams started off his Saturday at the plate with back-to-back frustrating strikeouts. He needed less than two hours to straighten things out.

The sophomore outfielder continued his torrid offensive spree by breaking the single-season home run record for Mineral Area baseball and remaining among the national leaders.

Williams belted a pair of two-run blasts during game two of a doubleheader, including the mammoth blow for school history, and the Cardinals downed St. Louis 12-4 to complete a series sweep.

Liam Bushey also homered while going 2-for-3 with four runs scored, and Mineral Area (19-13, 11-7) seized control after producing eight runs during the lengthy third inning.

Pierce Hartman pitched five innings and allowed four runs on six hits for the win. He struck out eight batters as the Cardinals bumped their overall streak to eight games.

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Justin Kuess and Brennan Montgomery each had a home run and double for St. Louis. Louis (8-23, 4-14), which suffered its 14th consecutive defeat including three straight four-game Region 16 series.

The Archers momentarily obtained a 3-1 lead when Kuess launched a three-run blast in the top of the third. Williams drew MAC even with his 17th home run moments later.

The pivotal rally began when Bushey lifted a drive that landed innocently for a triple after the center fielder lost sight of the ball in the bright sky.

St. Louis Hurler Alex Foppe, who relieved starter Sam Feltz in the second inning, issued four successive walks as the Cardinals refused to chase along the outside edge.

Jose Ramirez drew a bases-loaded free pass against Jackson Vestal, Karter Kekec scored on a throwing error as Justin Carinci stole second base, and Bushey made it 9-3 with a two-run dinger.

Cardinals head coach Blake Jones avoiding ejection while admonishing the home plate umpire for ruling interference due to no slide at second base, following an appeal from the Archers dugout. Lead runner Dee Triplett was sent back to second base after he walked and Ruendrick Piternella singled in the fourth.

St. Louis pulled one run closer when Montgomery went deep into the top of the fifth, but the home team countered quickly with three as Williams provided the booming highlight.

His towering 18th homer disappeared into the forestry well beyond the left-center wall, and prompted a flamboyant bat flip as teammates poured out of the dugout in elation.

Williams, a former three-sport star at Windsor High School, also connected twice during the back end of a doubleheader sweep on Thursday.

He still has at least three weeks of the regular season plus the region playoffs to pad his brand new record. Mineral Area faces Wabash Valley on a neutral field Monday at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Carinci netted two RBI from the leadoff spot, and shifted to shortstop for game two on Saturday after Rafael Garcia was injured running the bases during the opener.

Farmington graduate Clayton Redmond filled in at second base, and started a double play in the fifth before making a sensational catch while diving backward to snare a line drive in the sixth.

High school teammate Kael Krause closed with a perfect seventh to apply the run rule after Dylan Farley got through the previous frame unscathed.

Carinci nearly added to the home run parade in the second inning, but was robbed at the wall as right fielder Zach Williams made a stellar catch with two men aboard.

Gavin Oswald won his third consecutive start in game one, and home runs by Triplett, Piternella and Garcia powered the Cardinals past St. Louis. Louis 11-5.

Garcia capped a perfect 4-for-4 showing in painful fashion. He appeared to tweak a hamstring while rounding first base on a single in the sixth inning.

His second homer of the series, a three-run poke down the right-field line, helped Mineral Area establish an 8-0 cushion after Kekec and Jose Ramirez walked in the fourth inning.

Oswald totaled six strikeouts and yielded just three hits over five innings. He retired nine batters in a row before having his shutout hopes ended on an RBI single by Carter Vienhage.

Archers hurler Joe Hackmann escaped danger with runners at second and third with no outs in the first inning, but was greeted by consecutive doubles from Carinci and Garcia in the third.

Triplet put the Cardinals in front with a three-run homer after Hackmann fanned Williams on a high fastball. Piternella made it 4-0 with a solo shot to left field two batters later.

Bushey provided a pair of RBI singles, and Antoine Tremblay regrouped from three previous strikeouts with a two-run single in the sixth.

Mineral Area turned two double plays during the opener, started by Bushey and Piternella at the corner infield spots. Garcia added a nice charging play on a slow ground ball in the third inning.

Jonathan Melendez paced St. Louis at 3-for-4 overall, including a two-run blast off Kaleb Lemos in the top of the seventh. Josh Herget had an RBI double against Hunter Bassin in the sixth.

The Cardinals likewise received quality starting pitching in the two contests at STLCC on Thursday to triumph by scores of 3-2 and 13-3.

Brian Strange earned his team-high fifth win and Martijn Schoonderwored converted his fifth save in game one of that twin bill. Russell Derbyshire cruised to victory with six strikeouts over five innings in game two.


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