Warren dazzles with complete-game shutout against juggernaut Bombers
SEDALIA, Mo. — Peyton Warren was electric on the mound Friday night, propelling the Nevada Griffons to a 3-0 victory over the North division leading Sedalia Bombers.
Fresh off MINK League Pitcher of the Month honors, Warren quieted the Bomber bats, firing a complete-game shutout. The Brentwood, Tennessee native struck out seven and walked two, yielding just five hits against the league’s most potent offense.
A MINK League All-Star selection, Warren improved to 4-1, while lowering his ERA to a pristine 1.65. It was Warren’s second consecutive dynamite outing, after tossing eight shutout innings while striking out 10 on June 30 against the Chillicothe Mudcats.
Drew Austin’s RBI single in the fifth broke open a scoreless contest. At the bottom of the order, first baseman Lukas Polanco followed with a double to left, plating Austin as the Griffons went in front 2-0.
Nevada tacked on an insurance run in the sixth, via Connor Dupuy’s run-scoring single. It turned out to be more than enough for Warren, as the University of West Alabama product sailed through the Sedalia order, inducing four fly outs over the final four innings. The Griffons defense also turned a pair of key late-inning twin killings.
Sedalia starter Spencer Juergens (3-1) was saddled with the loss. The Washington, Missouri native pitched well, allowing three runs (two earned), while scattering eight hits over seven innings of work. The loss moved the Bombers to 20-8 overall. While Friday’s victory at Liberty Park was impressive, it did little to loosen Sedalia’s first-place stranglehold on the North division, as the Bombers are sitting pretty with a six-game cushion over the second-place Clarinda A’s.
Generals 9, Griffons 6
The Griffons continued their road-swing Saturday night, absorbing a 9-6 loss in a key South division matchup with the Ozark Generals. Residing in first place in the South division, the loss at Meador Park in Springfield sliced the Griffons lead to a half-game. That lead, however completely evaporated Sunday night, as the Griffons were hammered by host Jefferson City Renegades, 12-2 at Vivion Field.
That loss, coupled with Ozark’s 3-1 victory over the St. Joseph Mustangs, moved the Generals (16-14) into a first-place tie with the Griffons (15-13).
The Griffons found themselves with an early deficit, as Richard Fullerton’s first inning RBI single punctuated a two-run frame. After a bumpy first inning, Nevada starter Brian Archibald settled down, retiring the side in order in the second and third innings.
A fourth inning throwing error proved costly for Ozark, resulting in two Griffons’ runs. Nevada then went on top 3-2 on Tyler Schmidt’s RBI double.
After retiring seven straight, Archibald opened the home-half of the fourth with two quick outs. Things then quickly unraveled for the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Southern Arkansas University product, as two errors and three singles produced a pair of runs for Ozark, and a 4-3 advantage.
Nevada knotted the contest 4-4 in the fifth, as Dupuy sprinted home on a two-out wild pitch. Jett Swetland’s two-out RBI-single in the home-half of the frame put the Generals on top 5-4.
Ozark increased their advantage to 6-4 in the sixth, via Brady Owen’s RBI single off Nevada reliever Blake Bagenstos.
The Generals broke the contest open with a trio of runs in the seventh, highlighted by RBI base knocks off the bats of Xavier De Leon and Jared Johnson, as the Ozark advantage swelled to 9-4. The Griffins rallied with a pair of runs in the eighth, but were unable to get any closer.
Archibald (2-2) took the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) and eight hits, while walking one and striking out none over five innings. Bagenstos was touched up for six hits and four earned runs over three frames of work.
For Ozark, Seoul, South Korea native Gyeongju Kim notched the pitching victory. Kim (2-2) scattered six hits over seven innings, while striking out four and walking a pair.
For the Griffons center fielder Schmidt finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Ozark third baseman Johnson concluded 4-for-5 with an RBI and run scored.
Renegades 12, Griffons 2
For a second consecutive night it was rough sledding for Nevada pitchers, as the Griffons were buried under Jefferson City’s four-homerun barrage.
Trailing 2-1, the Renegades opened a 6-2 lead after exploding for five runs in third. It didn’t get any better for the Griffons, as Jeff City tacked on a run in the sixth, and then padded its cushion to 11-2 after plating four more in the seventh.
The contest then concluded in run-rule fashion, as the Renegades pushed across a run in the eighth for the decisive 12-2 margin.
On the hill, Nevada starter Bailey Smith (3-2) yielded six earned runs and 11 hits en route to the loss. Replacing Smith, Griffons reliever Easton Buckley was tagged for five earned runs.
At the dish, freshly minted Griffons’ leadoff hitter Dupuy finished 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. The multi-hit performance raised Dupuy’s batting average to .325 on the season.
For the Renegades, leadoff hitter Logan Hudson mashed a pair of solo blats, and finished 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBI.
Key personnel losses
Griffons’ All-Star shortstop Josh Bristyan has left the team, and returned to Arizona. It’s a massive loss for the Griffons, as Bristyan sported a team-leading .348 batting average out of the leadoff spot, to go along with 15 stolen bases. Bristyan was also a magician in the field, as The JUCO All-American Gold Glove winner has committed to play for NCAA Division I Gonzaga University. In addition, Bristyan was selected to the JUCO National Team, set to compete at the National Baseball Congress (NBC) World Series.
In addition, relief pitcher Pedro Astactio Jr. has left the team. Astacio Jr. was Bristyan’s former college teammate at Paradise Valley Community College (Ariz.).
Astacio Jr. made six appearances out of the bullpen for Nevada, concluding his Griffons tenure with a 7.04 ERA, and one save.
The Griffons continue their three-game road-set with Jefferson City. The Renegades (15-15) reside just one game out of first place. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.
Editor’s Note: See Wednesday’s edition for full recap of the Griffons’ Monday MINK League contest with Jefferson City.