OZARK — The Joplin Outlaws' recent woes continued Friday night with a doubleheader sweep at the bats and the arms of the Ozark Generals at Meador Park, 18-4 in seven innings and 6-4 in the nightcap.
Former Neosho High standout and Ozark reliever Bryce Slavens earned a save with two scoreless innings of work. Slavens had a pair of strikeouts. In a pair of outings against Joplin this week, Slavens pitched six scoreless innings.
Travis Schnoor earned the win, allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits over six innings. He struck out three and walked two.
Joplin's Derick Newby, a former rival of Slavens at Webb City, took the loss with six runs allowed (two earned) on eight hits over six innings. Newby struck out four and walked one.
Spenser Larson led the way for the Outlaws with two hits and Zack Ehlen, Alec Capshaw, Andruw McKenzie, Blake Wynn, and Jeff Wetzler each had one. Ehlen drove in a pair of runs to give him 27 for the season and the bottom four in the lineup — McKenzie, Austin Landis, Wynn, and Wetzler — each scored one run.
Landis, entering his second year at Crowder, worked two walks and finished officially 0 for 0 at the plate before being subbed for Wynn.
In the opener, the Generals plated runs that read like the last four digits in a phone number: two in the second, five in the third, four in the fourth, and seven in the fifth. Meanwhile, Joplin managed one in the first, two in the sixth, and one in the seventh.
Seven Ozark players scored at least two runs and designated hitter Blake Garrett, officially 0-1 in the contest, scored four runs, mostly thanks to his working three walks. Additionally, Alexander Marco and Alonso Bibiano each drove in five runs and Richard Fullerton drove in four.
Kaleb DeLaTorre, Ryan Cedeno, Alex Wheeler, Joseph Kinder, Alec Capshaw, and Larson each had one hit for the Outlaws. DeLaTorre and Wheeler each doubled and Capshaw tripled. Keep in mind that Wheeler came fresh off a four-double night Thursday against Nevada. Capshaw drove in two runs, while DeLaTorre and Cedeno each drove in one and DeLaTorre, Wheeler, Kinder, and Wetzler each scored one run.
Conner Burnett took the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) on three hits over three innings and he struggled with his control with five walks, but he did strike out four. The Generals roughed up two relievers for 11 more runs, all earned.
Ozark, who entered the night tied for first in the South Division, came out of the sweep Friday with a 20-14 MINK mark and a 1/2 game lead in the standings over Nevada.
Joplin, meanwhile, dropped to 11-22 MINK and the Outlaws returned home Saturday for a game against the best team (by record) in the MINK, the Sedalia Bombers.
Ozark joined Sedalia as the lone MINK team with 20 wins this season.