When it came down to putting together hits with runners on base, the Joplin Outlaws came through.
The Jefferson City Renegades didn't.
Joplin scored four runs with two out on Tuesday night, beating Jefferson City 7-3 at Vivion Field, and were aggressive in stealing bases in the first four innings to put runners in scoring position.
"We're getting hits, but we're just not getting the two or three we need, or hitting that one in the gap when we need it," Jefferson City coach Mike DeMilia said after the game. "That's the difference in winning and losing."
The Renegades (7-9) stranded 10 runners, two in four separate innings including the bottom of the eighth and ninth, to lose their fourth straight.
Joplin (10-7) scored first after starter Kaden Helsel (South Callaway) hit Sam Golden to lead off the second inning. Helsel came back and got flyouts on the next two batters, but then Golden swiped second and left fielder Caden Diel misplayed a liner that went over his head. A hard-hit single to center made it 2-0 before Helsel escaped with a flyout.
Jefferson City got one run back immediately: Tommy Ruether hit a leadoff single and moved up on a passed ball before David Dell (Blair Oaks) walked with one out. Ben Burton followed with a single to right-center and Ruether scored on a sac fly.
The Outlaws scored twice more in the third and after a leadoff hit-by-pitch in the fourth — that came around to score — Helsel exited after giving up five runs, but just one earned, on five hits a walk and two strikeouts.
"Kaden struggled at times but I thought he competed really hard," DeMilia said.
Andrew Paten pitched four innings of relief for Jefferson City, allowing four hits and two earned runs.
"Andrew was good," DeMilia said. "He doesn't throw overly hard but you know the breaking ball mixed, throwing strikes, I mean he was really tough."
Ruether made a run-saving and inning-ending play in the top of the third. With the bases loaded and two out, an RBI single up the middle threatened to score more than one run, but Ruether charged in to shallow center and gunned a one-hopper to catcher Ale Claro for the putout at home.
Ruether also scored all three of the Renegades runs and hit 2-for-4 with a walk. He hit a one-out single in the sixth, swiped second and came home on Dell's opposite-field double inside the first-base line. In the eighth, he drew a one-out walk, moved up when Kolin Demel was hit by a pitch and scored on an infield error.
"Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for him because we definitely need him to play like the way he did tonight," DeMilia said.
The Renegades are off until Friday, when they play a doubleheader at Clarinda beginning at 5 p.m. The A's lead the MINK League with a 12-2 record.