JOPLIN — It was a miniature Neosho High Class of 2017 reunion Friday night at historic Joe Becker Stadium when the Joplin Outlaws hosted the Springfield Redbirds.
Colton Marion made a pinch-hit appearance for the Outlaws and Marcus Crawford started behind home plate and hit in the No. 2 hole for the Redbirds.
Crawford doubled in the first inning and later picked up a RBI during a 1 for 5 night at the plate, while Marion grounded out to second to advance Calem Nutting over 90 feet to third.
Marion and Crawford both recently completed their first years of college baseball, Marion at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Crawford at Independence (Kansas). Marion earned all-region honorable mention honors.
Marion entered Saturday night hitting .100 (1-10) for the Outlaws in four games this summer, and he missed three games from June 3 through June 6 before his return Thursday against Jefferson City. Marion singled in his first at-bat of the season.
On Friday night, Joplin earned its first win of the season with a 12-7 victory over the Redbirds, plating four runs in the third, four in the sixth, three in the seventh, and one in the eight. Springfield brought home two in the second and five in the eighth.
Area products Alex Wheeler (Stockton), Calem Nutting (Webb City), and Austin Landis (Joplin) each drove in two runs for the Outlaws, while Kaleb DeLaTorre (Fort Scott), Gavin Merriman (Joplin), and Ryan Cedeno (St. Mary’s Colgan) each had two hits for the 14-hit Outlaw attack.
Tyler McGrew (Joplin) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief.
Joplin (1-6) returned to action Saturday night at home against the Chillicothe Muscats, a matchup of the two worst teams in the MINK League.