JOPLIN — Because of a forecast for even more rain on Friday, the schedule for the Mickey Mantle Classic has been overhauled.
Six games were scheduled at Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin and five more at Mickey Mantle Field in Commerce on Thursday, April 5.
Thursday’s games at Joe Becker Stadium include Diamond, Missouri, vs. McDonald County, Missouri, 10 a.m.; Diamond vs. Locust Grove, noon; Quapaw vs. Wyandotte, 2 p.m.; Neosho JV vs. Wyandotte, 4 p.m.; Fairland vs. Quapaw, 6 p.m., and Fairland vs. Neosho JV, 8 p.m.
The Thursday schedule at Mantle Field includes Sarcoxie vs. Haskell, noon; Miami vs. Neosho, 2 p.m.; McDonald County vs. Locust Grove, 4 p.m.; Afton vs. Haskell, 6 p.m; Afton vs. Commerce, 8 p.m.
Because of the shuffling, there will be only three games on Friday, April 6, at Mantle Field: Neosho JV vs. Quapaw, 9 a.m.; Tahlequah Sequoyah vs. Neosho, 11 a.m., and Tahlequah Sequoyah vs. Miami, 1 p.m.
Those games will be moved to Joplin in case of rain.
“It gives us a chance to get the games in looking at the forecast,” tournament director Brian Waybright said. “Having the option of playing the games at Joplin made things more simple.”
Craig Hull with the Joplin Sports Authority helped secure the game venues for Waybright and the tournament.
“It’s nice to have those fields up there. We actually would like to have moved every game from Friday to Thursday, but we couldn’t have done that because Quapaw would have had to play all three games on Thursday.
“The two Sequoyah games couldn’t be moved because of transportation. We are trying to get those (Friday) games started before the storm does hit.”
Barring additional problems with the weather, the Saturday schedule will remain the same: the third-place game in the Comet Division at 10 a.m. and the Triple Crown Division third-place game at noon.
Championship games will be at 2 p.m. (Comet Division) and 4 p.m. (Triple Crown Division).
Three consolation games will be played at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Joe Becker.
Guest speaker Bucky Dent will sign autographs for player at noon Saturday then throw out the first pitch before the Comet Division final.
The awards banquet will be at 7:30 p.m. at First Christian Church in Miami.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance at the field for $20.
Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the banquet begins at 7:30.
There will be live and silent auctions.
Game admission is $4 for adults and $2 for students.
Artist David Pucciarelli, a longtime supporter of the tournament from New Jersey, is on hand for the event. He traditionally has done artwork that is included in the auctions.
Three games were played Wednesday in Joplin.
At Joe Becker Stadium, Wyandotte outslugged Fairland 11-10 and Haskell blanked Commerce 4-0.
At Wendell Redden Stadium in the Joplin Sports Complex, Afton topped Sarcoxie 5-3.
Wyandotte 11, Fairland 10
The winning run scored in the bottom of the seventh inning on an error.
Cade Lofland walked and courtesy runner Kanien Clapp stole second then scored when Caleb Hurst bunted but the ball was misplayed.
Fairland had taken a 10-7 lead with two runs in the top of the sixth but the Bears tied the score with three runs in its half of the sixth.
Ryan Cooper had two singles and Mike Lawson, Jordon Burney, Zach Garrett, Cody Teal and Cade Lofland added one each.
Cody Rice and Isaac Matthews had two singles each for Fairland.
The Owls also got doubles from Riley Powell, Gavin Long, Luke Jones and Jamal Morris while Thatcher Smalley and Cooper Elmer had a single each.
Haskell 4, Commerce 0
There were only three hits total in the game.
Caleb Pittman and Brandt Nading had singles for the Tigers.
Colby McCarty had a single for Haskell’s only hit.
McCarty pitched all six innings for the Haymakers, striking out 15 while walking three.
Haskell got a single run in the first, one in the fifth and a final two in the sixth.
Nading pitched 4 1/3 innings then turned things over to Hunter Burkybile, who threw 1 1/3. Lance Hyatt got the final out in the game.
Afton 5, Sarcoxie 3
Afton was up 3-2 heading into the fourth when the Eagles generated single tallies in the fourth and fifth.
Teegan Maupin and Cole Mikesell collected two singles each while Jacob Barton and Jesse Walkingstick chipped in with a base hit.
Seven different players had singles for the Bears: Brice Endicott, Hayden Kisling, Nate Baldwin, Gage Weist, Patrick Clifford, Hunter Byers and Jared Parrigon.