Big inning for the Catfish leads to a win over the Hoots

O’FALLON, MO (Aug 4) – After a day of Wednesday the Catfish were headed to O’Fallon, MO to take on the Hoots. The Catfish had lost two straight to the Hoots at their place but were 5-3 overall headed into Thursday night’s contest. When the game was over, I wasn’t sure what story line to write about.

Could be Dylan Peck, the pitcher who was getting his 8th start of the season and was undefeated until these Hoots beat him up 6-1 back on July 20th giving him his only loss. He’d throw after more than a week off and would give the Catfish six strong innings. He gave up a couple long balls, just as he did last time but he kept the Fish and the game as he left after six innings giving up four earned runs, nine hits, no walks and struck out two. He wouldn’t figure in the decision.

Could be Curry Sutherland from MO State. The young man who was an all state two way player in high school at Logan Rogersville in Springfield. He came to the Catfish as a kid who played shortstop in high school and yet hasn’t seen an inning there this summer. A kid used to being the center of attention and the guy who plays every inning of every game. He came here and took on a new role. He was a catalyst early on when the Catfish won 12 straight. He was the everyday third basemen and was in the lineup every day. Then the roster filled and he started to come out of the bullpen. Then he moved to a DH role with an occasional start at third. Then he played first base. All the while just flashing that bright smile and never saying a word. He knew there were some very good players and he was ready to play whatever role Skipper Scott Little gave him. Thursday night he was back at third base, making plays and hitting bombs. In the top of the 6th trailing by a run, Sutherland led off with a moon shot that cleared the 400 foot centerfield mark by plenty (his 4th of the season), tying the game at four. The next inning he’d double into the left centerfield gap scoring Clarke. In the nine hole he ended the night 2-4 with two rbi’s, three runs scored and two walks.

Could be Justin Carinci, the spark plug headed to Eastern Kentucky. He has been the most consistent player on the Catfish team and in the Prospect League this season. He has been in the top five in bating average all season, came into the game batting .384 which is 3rd and leading the league in hits with 75. He’d go 3-6, scoring a run and knocking in 5 rbi’s giving him 47 on the season, just a couple out of the top five in the league.

Could be Jordan Riley, the California kid who’s headed to Crowder College in a few weeks to start his college baseball career. He came into the game in relief in the 7th and gave up the lead as Chase Beattie (SLU) touched him for a two-run bomb making it 6-5 in favor of the Hoots. He would only pitch that one inning but he would get the win, his third against only one loss. They call that a “vulture” win when you give up a lead and then your team scores and you get the win. For a kid who leads the team in appearances and has pitched so well, a vulture on this night was deserving.

So many things I could write about but in the end the 10 run 8th inning was the bottom line. A game that went back and forth for 7 innings with 5 lead changes was blown open in the 8th. The Catfish sent 15 men to the plate, they would score 10 times, on only four hits, they were given six walks and Kaden Bogenpohl, another MO State player, came off the bench to hit the longest home run of the season that cleared a building in center field. When the dust had settled the score was 15-6. The Hoots would score one more off reliever Cam Dohogne (Columbia College) but Yarbro (William Jewel) the local Chaffee star would close it out with a perfect 9th.

The Catfish would win their 39th game, they’d finish 6-3 vs the Hoots who last year were very good and this year had a .500 season. On this night in O’Fallon, MO the better team came away with the victory and will play two more before the host the first playoff game on Sunday night in Cape.