St. Joseph starter Cam Bednar pitched a three-hit shutout to help beat the Sedalia Bombers, who scored in the ninth inning of a 4-1 loss at Liberty Park Stadium.
Brendon Davis plated Alex Hoff from second on a two-out flare into no man’s land, center field. Baxter Mays lined out to end the game.
Sedalia’s Brandon Babin recorded his first two strikeouts to help end the sixth inning. He issued no walks through 89 pitches and stranded Terrence Spurlin, who led off with a single, to finish his outing.
After Friday, Babin leads the Bombers with 23 innings, ammassing 19 strikeouts and five walks. He pitched one inning for Nicholls State in spring, and hopes to develop his slider into a swing-and-miss pitch — one that might help avoid crooked frames.
“It’s getting to the point in the game where if you don’t have that third pitch, you’re not going to make it,” Babin said.
Drew Beazley tripled to begin a three-run, two-out rally in the second inning. His drive landed in the deepest part of right-center field, and preceded four consecutive singles.
Derek Hussey’s single drove in the first run. Babin was without a play on a high chopper from Hampton Hudson, and Hoff was similarly stuck on a Karsen Reid liner — sending a late throw to first. Jack Dierenfeldt delivered a bases-loaded knock to give the Mustangs a 3-0 lead.
Bednar (Missouri Southern) carved through the Bombers lineup with seven strikeouts in a complete-game effort. With two outs, Bednar walked a pair to face AJ Gardner in the eighth, but Reid tracked and corralled a shallow fly ball to end the threat.
The Mustangs (17-6, 13-4 MINK) sprayed right field against Sedalia hurlers, and Dalton Bealmer rarely made it look easy. In the eighth, Bealmer dove for a shallow fly ball and provided a competitive throw home as Jack Wagner, who tripled, scored on the sacrifice and increased the lead to 4-0.
Bealmer said the wind obscured a pair of fly balls already driven into Dey Field’s power alley.
“If I see something going over my head, I pretty much take off running,” Bealmer said. “If something is hit that hard, it’s probably going to land.”
Michael Chung, making his third appearance, turned in a scoreless ninth.
It was the first meeting of the season between the MINK League North rivals, separated in St. Joe’s favor by 1 1/2 games for the division lead, after a postponed matchup June 22. They are scheduled to meet July 4 in St. Joseph, July 7-8 at Liberty Park Stadium and conclude the season series with a doubleheader July 19 at Phil Welch Stadium.
The Bombers (11-5) split a road doubleheader Thursday with the Nevada Griffons at Lyons Stadium.
Garrett Morrow relieved Elijah Richeson after the Bombers starter walked five batters and surrendered three runs in two innings. Alec Luyet worked a scoreless sixth as the Sedalia offense mustered three hits against Chase Beiter, who pitched a complete game.
In the nightcap, Jordan Mendenhall allowed four runs in three innings, followed by two frames apiece from Chase Hutson and Cole Young. Blaine Hardy hit his first home run of the season in the fifth, and the Bombers took advantage of a pitching change to the tune of four more runs.
Tre Turner swiped his 13th stolen base and Alex Hoff was 3-for-4 with a walk and three RBIs.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2.