Where Baseball is TONS of Fun!

By Cade Haak

TEXARKANA, TX (June 22nd, 2024) – The Texarkana Rhinos lost game two of the series to the Joplin Outlaws in ten innings after the Outlaws were able to score six runs in the top of the 10th. 

The Outlaws opened up scoring in the top of the first when Brett Sarwinski was able to take advantage of an error by the Rhinos to extend a triple into an inside-the-park home run. The Outlaws then followed up the single run scored in the first inning by adding one more run to their total in the top of the second. Their second run came off the bat of Ravaughn Morgan, who was able to hit a long shot over the fence for a solo home run to kick off the inning. 

Despite being down 2-0 going into the bottom of the second, the Rhinos were able to string together a plethora of high-quality at-bats to score eight runs and flip the game completely in their favor. The inning started in a very unique way, as the bases were loaded with Rhinos, who all got on base by getting hit by the pitch. The first was Rylan Evans, who was followed shortly after by both Jackson Glymph and Kyle Dekerf. Christian Rosales followed up this rare streak with a double that found a gap in the outfield and scored both Evans and Glymph. Ian Guanzon then hit a soft single into the outfield that was enough to clear the bases, bringing in both Dekerf and Rosales. Next to the plate was Gabriel Natividad, who stood his ground as he was also hit by a pitch that got away from Mason Wyant. Next, Mason Wyant hung a curveball in the zone, and the Rhinos best power hitter, Neil Jansen, made him pay by hammering a three-run shot over the left field fence for three more runs. Following the home run, Antonio Sabala was hit by a pitch, which brought up Rylan Evans back to the plate, and he was unsurprisingly hit by a pitch again to reach the bases. Evans was the sixth hit batter of the inning, and it was his second time being hit in the bottom of the second. Mason Sellers then drove in Sabala with a single for the eighth run of the inning. 

The Rhinos showed continued success as they scored one more run in the third inning to expand their lead to seven runs. The run came across as Neil Janses squarely hit a double to drive in Christian Rosales, who got on base by, you guessed it, getting hit by a pitch. 

With the Rhinos firmly in the driver’s seat of the game, the Outlaws continued to chip away at the lead over the next few innings by scoring two in the fourth and one in the fifth, all while holding Texarkana scoreless. 

In the top of the sixth, Joplin was able to complete the comeback and tie the game at nine runs apiece by scoring four more runs, but the Rhinos did not let this tie remain for long as they immediately retaliated by adding three more runs to their total. The Rhinos broke the tie through a two-out rally when Antonio Sabala drilled a double that scored Neil Jansen. Antonio Sabala then scored by stealing home after Rylan Evans walked and stole second, which drew attention away from Sabala. Mason Sellers then hit the ball just well enough for an RBI single that scored Rylan Evans from second. 

With the lead in favor of the Rhinos, the Outlaws again began to chip away as they scored one run in each of the next three innings, and by doing this while also holding the Rhinos scoreless, they were able to force extra innings. 

In the top of the sixth, rejuvenated by the momentum swing going into extra innings, the Outlaws had their best inning as they lit up Antonio Sabala, who was brought in to close the game for the Rhinos. Joplin scored six runs in the top of the tenth inning, and then Erik Heiken, who had been brought in the previous inning as the closer, slammed the door on any comeback effort the Rhinos had in mind, only allowing one run in the process. 

This large comeback win by the Joplin Outlaws showed the team’s resilience as they were able to take down a Rhinos team that has been red hot as of late. 

Next Up:

The Texarkana Rhinos will now host the Sherman Shadowcats in back-to-back doubleheaders on Sunday, June 23rd, and Monday, June 24th.

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