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M.I.N.K League: Mustangs Coy & Mudcats Potter Take It to the Wire in July

 

The St. Joseph Mustangs are a relatively new organization based in St. Joseph Missouri. The city once housed the St. Joseph Saints for ten years, but it came to an end and it seemed like its destiny with baseball was still unfulfilled. The current Mustangs got their start in 2009, but they were birthed in a stadium that was neither wet under the nose or green as goose shit. Phil Welch Stadium was built in 1939 and has embraced in its field legends like Dizzy Dean, Stachel Paige, Yogi Berra, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, and Earl Weaver. Back when there were only 16 major league teams, no television, or free agency, major league players would travel and play baseball across the country in what was called barnstorming. A high school kid named Yogi Berra hit a 420 foot homerun in 1943 as a member of the Stockholm Post; an erratic young shortstop named Mickey Mantle played for the Joplin Miners at Phil Welch Stadium but was later converted into an outfielder by the Yankees.


Johnny Coy prepares to bat during 2010 M.I.N.K. League Play
Photo by: Davis Baker http://www.stjoemustangs.com/ Copyright 2010

Today, the Mustangs feature Johnny Coy, the 6’8 infielder is not only hitting .386 after 88 at bats, but is also leading the league in homeruns (8), RBI’s (32), on base percentage (.471), and slugging (.761). This past spring, he was a red shirt freshman with Wichita State after transferring late from Arizona State. Coy hit .331 with 7 homeruns and 32 RBI’s at Wichita State, so it’s clear that Coy is learning and building on his strengths this summer as a Mustang. St. Joseph is in first place in the North Division so far this summer and refuses to give ground to the Chillicothe Mudcats who are 2 games behind. There are no statistics in which the Mustangs are excelling the most in as a team, but winning games only requires a heart felt performance each time your team files onto the field.

 

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The Chillicothe Mudcats may sit behind the Mustangs in the standing, but in both team pitching and team hitting, the Mudcats have built a much better position. The Mudcats have the 2nd best team ERA (2.45), and one of the reasons is Sean Potter. Potter started the season with a relief appearance on June 3rd and went for 1 perfect inning. From that point Potter has been given the ball as a starter and is not looking back. Three days later he was on the mound in a start against the Omaha Diamond Spirit and pitched 6 strong innings without giving up an earned run on only 2 hits. In his two most recent starts, Potter has pitched 15 innings allowing 1 earned run, 11 hits, walked 3, and struck out 10. Overall this spring, Potter has been incredibly impressive with an ERA of 0.32 in 22 innings with a record of 2-1.

Phil Welch Stadium
Photo by: Davis Baker http://www.stjoemustangs.com/ Copyright 2010

This past spring he pitched at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Potter struggled in his final year of college with a record of 1-1, 8.54 in 32.2 innings, but he did register a win in relief against cross town rival Arkansas State in the final game of the season. Potter went for 4 innings, allowed 3 hits, and 2 runs in a 14-10 victory. The Chillicothe Mudcats were the M.I.N.K League champs in ’09, but in order to repeat that high of an accomplishment this summer, they will first have to find way to beat the Mustangs. The two teams are schedule to square off again on July 20th and the 21st in what may prove to decide which team takes the North Division title.

 

 

 

By Adrian Nevarez
DFN Sports Staff Writer

 

 


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