Experience leading Outlaws in early parts of season

May 30—The Joplin Outlaws are 2-3 to start the 2024 summer season and sit in fourth place in the standings of the Mid-America League.

The Outlaws are currently looking up at the Abilene Flying Bison (5-0), Fort Smith Marshals (3-2) and Sherman Shadowcats (3-2).

Coming into town on Thursday night for Joplin's home opener are the Shadowcats. And they're sticking around all weekend for a four-game series ending Sunday.

The results from Thursday and Friday's games will not be available in time for the Friday and Saturday editions of The Joplin Globe. You can find game recaps on

Leading the Outlaws to this point has been Brett Sarwinski and two of their experienced players in Gabe Russell and CJ Cepicky — both coming off their junior season in college.

Sarwinski is second on the team with eight hits and he leads with nine walks. The sophomore from Pittsburg State University is batting .571 with an on-base percentage of .739. He's recorded mostly singles so far as his slugging percentage is a notch above his batting average at .643.

Sarwinski's average, OBP and SLG are tops on the team for players with at least four games played.

Russell leads the team with nine hits and seven runs batted in. He has yet to draw a walk but features a batting average of .391 and OBP of .400. All nine of his hits are singles.

Cepicky has gone 7 for 21 in five games and is slashing .333/.462/.476. He leads the offense with three doubles. Jackson, Kahle Good and Carter Mize each have a home run.

Andre Jackson, a senior from West Texas A&M, has played in three games so far and is 3 for 9 at the plate with a walk. He's tied with Russell with his seven runs driven in. Jackson is currently slugging .667.

The offense has drawn a total of 44 walks, which would be good for nearly nine free passes per game. The team is batting .299 with an OBP of .474 and SLG of .391.

The pitching staff has struggled with the base on balls as well walking 37 (more than seven per game) batters. Opponents are hitting .326 against the Outlaws and getting on base at a high clip of .478. The opposition's slugging percentage is currently .434.

Former Carl Junction Bulldog, now at Pittsburg State University, Lucas Vanlanduit, has been a bright spot on the mound coming off is freshman season in college. He's pitched in three games for a total of 8 2/3 innings and sports an earned run average of 1.04.

He's allowed three runs but only one earned. His WHIP is 1.14 with just seven hits and two walks. He also has eight strikeouts. Vanlanduit was redshirted for his first year at PSU.

Cole Hill has pitched through 5 1/3 innings, surrendering eight hits and one earned run (two total) for an ERA of 1.69. Hill has struck out four batters and has a WHIP of 1.69 as well. He has a 1-0 record after one appearance.

Xavier Fosbenner has five strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings of work and has the team's only save on the season thus far.

Joplin's defense has struggled to this point with 10 errors and 14 unearned runs allowed.

Joplin started the year at Sherman and went 1-2 in the three games played. One game in the opening series was rained out. It then traveled to Fort Smith and split two games with the Marshals.