Joplin Blasters Offense Explodes in 19-10 Win Over Wingnuts
The Joplin Blasters truly lived up to their name Tuesday night, setting franchise records for runs scored and hits in a 19-10 victory over the Wichita Wingnuts. This was a game that saw every Joplin player get at least two-hits and was led by Charlie Valerio who had four. Eight different players scored runs and every player had at least one RBI. It was as thorough of an offensive showing as can be imagined.
The Blasters got the game going in the first inning when Aaron Brill singled to start the frame. A fielder’s choice put Mitch Glasser on first and he scored when Geraldo Valentin doubled to make it 1-0 Joplin.
In the top of the second the Wingnuts took a 3-1 lead. Joplin starter Josh Evans retired the first two batters of the inning, but a single by Matt Chavez was followed by Richard Prigatano’s second homerun of the season to make it a one-run Wichita lead. Next, Brent Dean reached on an error, stole second, and scored on a single by Leo Vargas. That made it 3-1.
The Wingnuts were looking good after the three-run inning, but the elation would not last long. In the bottom half of the inning, Charlie Valerio led off with a single and Jake Taylor followed with single to move Valerio to second. Next up was Juan Medina, who reached on an error to load the bases and there was still no one out. Zack Burling was up next and he ripped a single up the middle that scored both Valerio and Taylor, making the sxore tied at three. A hit by Aaron Brill scored Medina and a single by Glasser brought home Burling. Valentin’s single scored Brill and the Blasters had scored five runs before the first out of the inning was recorded. Will Soto and Medina would add RBI singles in the frame and Valerio would plate another when he reached on an error to make it 9-3 Joplin. In the inning, 13 Blasters would bat and eight runs would score. Joplin would never trail again.
Now trailing by six, the Wichita Wingnuts showed great fight. In the top of the third they would get three of those runs back. Matt Chavez’s first homerun of the season, a three-run shot, made it 9-6. However, Joplin got a run back in the bottom half of the inning when Willie Cabrera singled home Brill.
In the bottom of the fourth, the slugfest continued. Valerio started the frame with a single and scored when Taylor hit his first homerun of the season. Surprisingly, despite the fact the Joplin scored 19-runs in the contest, that was the only homer that the Blasters would hit.
Wichita added one in the top of the fifth on an RBI groundout by Dean, but in the bottom of the sixth Joplin scored three more. Brill plated one with a fielder’s choice, and Glasser’s two-run single made the score 15-7. It was amazing that the scoreboard didn’t melt by this point.
Seven more runs would be scored over the final three frames. In the bottom of the seventh Burling singled home Medina to make it 16-7. Each team would score three in the eighth.
Brent Clevlen led off the inning with his first homer of the season. Two more runs would score when Vargas reached on an error. In the bottom half of the inning Soto added an RBI single and Valerio an RBI double. Taylor plated the final run of the game on an RBI ground out.
In all, the two teams combined for 38-hits and 29-runs. There were also 11-walks. The Joplin Blasters set franchise records with their 19-run, 24-hit performance.
Valerio finished the day 4-6 with 2-runs and an RBI. Burling, Taylor, and Glasser each drove in three, and Glasser, Brill, and Medina each scored three. It was an amazingly complete performance by the entire lineup as Cabrera was the only player not to score at least two runs.
Chavez finished 4-4 with 3-runs and 3-RBI for Wichita. Zack Cox and Prigatano each had three hits.
These two teams continue their three-game series Wednesday night. Anthony Capra (0-0, 2.57) goes for the Wichita Wingnuts. Josh Hodges (0-0, 1.50) for the Joplin Blasters. First pitch is at 6:35.
By Robert Pannier