The return of Jonathan Ramon coincided with the Bombers’ return to the top of the MINK League North Division standings.
Ramon, recovering from surgery after a blood clot in his right arm, doubled and walked twice as designated hitter in his first game back with the Sedalia Bombers, a 6-5 victory over St. Joseph. The 10-inning victory was game one of a doubleheader, and gave Sedalia a 1/2 game lead over the Mustangs in division standings.
Game two was suspended due to lightning. The game will be made up Thursday in Sedalia. St. Joseph led 5-1 at the time of suspension.
Ramon said he was happy to be back in the lineup, having watched the Bombers play from the bench in Chillicothe last week. Monday’s was the first at bats were his first since early May.
“It’s been a long six weeks,” Ramon said. “Last week was the first time I swung. I’m slowly progressing. Just felt weird to be back in the batter’s box, but it was cool. I’m glad we got the win at the end of the day.”
Brad Spinner pitched seven innings for Sedalia, surrendering two runs on six hits, three walks and striking out six. Blaine Fisher relieved Spinner for the three extra innings.
After each Mustangs run in the second, fifth, and ninth innings, Sedalia tied it in the bottom of the frame. Head coach Craig McAndrews was proud of the Bombers’ resilience, and said it was a sign of maturity.
“It was a good baseball game,” McAndrews said. “A lot of adversity came up there, and we answered back. That’s proof right there that the team’s growing together, that the young guys are growing and maturing. They’re learning how to win. They answered back in the second, the fifth, the ninth and the tenth. That says a lot about this team.”
Spinner picked off the leadoff runner in the first, but an errant throw to second advanced him to third. Spinner recorded three strikeouts to escape the inning scoreless.
The Bombers put two runners on base in the bottom of the inning after Quade Smith reached and Dalton Horstmeier nailed the field umpire in the leg with a line drive. Horstmeier was forced out at second, and Smith was later stranded at third.
Brett Marr led off the second inning with a double to left-center field. Tyler Cox scored Marr with an RBI single. Spinner picked off Matt Wollnick at first to end the inning with runners on the corners.
Louis Niemerg tied the game with an RBI double that scored Devon Morrill from first.
Sedalia’s defense threw out Connor Bacon attempting to stretch a double into a triple to lead off the fourth.
Cox led off the fifth with a solo home run and gave St. Joe a 2-1 lead. The Bombers answered in the next frame on a Horstmeier RBI single that scored Justin Holt.
Hayden Steele relieved St. Joe starter Logan Jacik in the sixth inning. Steele recorded two outs and two walks before Steve D’Amico entered the game. D’Amico loaded the bases, but got out of the inning with a grounder to second.
D’Amico lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and six walks.
Wollnick popped out to John Privitera at second, who then doubled up Cox who strayed too far from first to end the seventh inning.
Sedalia loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs. Niemerg struck out swinging to end the threat and force extra-innings.
The Mustangs broke a 2-2 tie in the ninth with the bases loaded and two outs. Morill bobbled a Matt Wollnick chopper, rendering no play on the grounder. Connor Bacon scored on the error.
Morill would have little time to sulk. He scored Alex Bee, who led off the ninth with a triple over the right fielder’s head, on a bunt single down the first-base line. Morrill tied the game again in the 10th inning with a two-RBI double off Jonathan Lynch.
Morrill, who went 2-2 with a walk, three RBIs and scored twice, said handling adversity is part of the game.
“I just messed up at short and knew I had to make it up at some point in the game,” Morrill said. “It just happened, it was my turn.
“Baseball comes with adversity. It is up and down, the whole game. It’s all about who can keep a level head and come out at the end on top.”
The Bombers travel to Joplin for one game against the Outlaws before hosting the Mustangs again Thursday at 7 p.m.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2