By Jackson Vaerewyck

JOPLIN, Mo. (May 30, 2024) – The Sherman Shadowcats, playing without Head Coach Shawn Counts, fell 16-7 to the Joplin Outlaws in a critical road game at Joe Becker Stadium on Thursday night. This loss allowed the Outlaws to leapfrog Sherman into third place in the Mid-America League standings due to the head-to-head tiebreaker. Sherman moved down to fourth place in the standings.

Box Score

The Shadowcats, coming off a doubleheader split against the Piney Woods Timberhogs the previous night, faced a quick turnaround and a lengthy 288-mile drive to Joplin, Missouri. Despite the travel fatigue and a weather delay pushing the first pitch to 8:45 p.m., Sherman came out strong, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning and adding three more in the second.

Sherman Left fielder Ryan Sessions (Redlands CC) ignited the early offensive surge with a double to start the game, eventually scoring after multiple walks were drawn from Outlaws’ pitcher Will Newberry (Missouri-St.Louis). The highlight of the night came when newly arrived outfielder Zach Henry (UT Arlington) blasted a home run, bringing in Sessions and Alex Rangel (Dallas College Brookhaven) to cap off the early scoring spree in the second inning.

However, the Outlaws responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Both teams then entered a scoring drought that lasted until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Joplin managed to bring another runner home on an Owen Bond (St. Thomas) single that scored CJ Cepicky (Northern Illinois) setting the score at 7-4 heading into the fifth inning.

Sherman’s offense stalled in the fifth with a quick 1-2-3 inning, while the Outlaws erupted for six runs in the bottom half, seizing a commanding 10-7 lead. Reliever Matthew Herrera (Centenary College of Louisiana) struggled on the mound, surrendering 12 hits and 12 runs over the last four innings.

The Shadowcats’ missed opportunities on offense proved costly, as they left eight runners stranded after their initial scoring burst. The defense also faltered, allowing Joplin to exploit gaps and extend their lead, especially later in the ballgame.

The final score stood at 16-7, with the Outlaws securing a decisive victory in the first of a four-game series.

Box Score Highlights:

Sherman Shadowcats: 7 runs, 10 hits, 8 left on base

Joplin Outlaws: 16 runs, 18 hits, 6 left on base

Key Performances:

Zach Henry (UT Arlington): 1 HR, 2 RBIs

Ryan Sessions (Redlands Community College): 1 2B, 1 run scored

Next Up:

The Shadowcats, now 3-3, will look to regroup and bounce back in the remaining games of the series. First pitch is set for 7:05 on Friday night against the Outlaws as they continue their six-game road trip.

Follow our Twitter at @Sherman_M_A for live game updates.

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