JOPLIN — Sam Danker had just spelled Noah Skaggs with two on and no outs in the eighth inning when a Freilin Cabrera single extended the Joplin lead to 7-4 and, with lightning in the area, effectively ended the game Tuesday night at Joe Becker Stadium.
Alex Hoff debuted for the Bombers (8-3) at shortstop and registered his first two hits of the season, sending an 0-2 pitch into the right-field gap in the seventh. His first RBI as a Bomber pulled the team within one run.
Joplin’s Brett Briggs struck out eight batters in as many innings, surrendering runs on seven hits and one walk.
Hoff said the Outlaws lefty aimed for the outside of the zone against Sedalia batters, spinning a breaking ball to put batters away.
“I just wanted to see the ball deep,” Hoff said. “He had a decent breaking ball. I knew it was coming.”
AJ Gardner’s fourth home run of the season was a line drive that crashed into the bleachers beyond left field. It was the first run of the game on the first pitch of the inning.
After the frozen rope homer, Gardner stranded a total of five runners and represented the last out of the fifth and seventh frames. He grounded into a fielder’s choice, stranding the bases loaded during a two-run fifth that left the visitors trailing 5-3.
Jackson Schmedding labored through five innings, conceding seven hits for five runs. In the second, the Bombers’ 20th unearned run of the season — credited to an error at first — tied the game 1-1. Schmedding corralled the next ball himself and met first baseman Cole Taylor with an underhand toss.
Zack Ehlen and Cabrera delivered back-to-back RBI singles in the fourth, and an error at second base allowed the Outlaws (7-10) to push their lead to 5-1. Schmedding returned for a scoreless fifth, despite a leadoff double.
With bases loaded and no outs in the seventh, the Bombers managed to concede just one run. Gardner provided the catch-and-throw from the warning track to third base on a run-scoring double play, and Skaggs struck out an Outlaw looking to limit the damage.
Blake Ford legged out an infield single and Kyle Clayton doubled to begin the fifth inning and scored on a Clayton Meyer groundout. After Quin Reasoner was hit by a pitch — and exited the game in favor of Baxter Mays — Turner placed an RBI bloop single in right field full Sedalia within two runs.
The Bombers rallied with two outs in the seventh, with Turner reaching via single, Harrison Schnurbusch wearing a pitch and Hoff sending Turner home.
Turner has started every game for the Bombers, amassing 14 hits and eight stolen bases in 11 games.
Sedalia travels to Meador Park in Springfield for a 5 p.m. doubleheader Wednesday with the Ozark Generals.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2.