Catfish blow late lead and lose 6-5 to the Hoots

Catfish can’t close out at home

Cape Girardeau, Missouri (June 8th, 2024). The Catfish have played in five one run games and lost four of them coming into Saturday night’s contest with the divisions top team the O’Fallon Hoots. President Glenn Campbell wanted to debut the Black on Black jersey and hat sometime on the road this season. To change the teams luck he decided to see if the team wanted to wear them at home and the players loved it.

For most of the game Saturday evening, in front of another big home crowd, it looked like things were about to change. But the bullpen couldn’t hold a three run lead late and like so many other games this season, a couple costly errors in the 9th gave the Hoots extra outs and a two out solo home run off reliever Arlon Butts (Arkansas State) sent the Catfish to their 5th one run loss and a 3-7 record through the first ten games of the season.

What a far cry from what was going on a year ago. The Catfish stood at 10-0 and were averaging nine runs a game while only allowing three. The defense was solid, hitting was solid and the pitching was lights out. They would win 12 straight, a Prospect League record and end the first half 22-6. This season may have to one that is told later in the year vs early.

To be fair, the Catfish have just now been able to field most of their players so guys are still getting to know guys. “This team is very talented,” said GM Mark Hogan. “We’ve played a lot of close games that could have gone either way but didn’t go our way, yet. It’s a very long season and I believe we will be as good as anyone by July when it really matters.”

The Catfish scored early, Corbin Mallot (Purdue University) walked to lead off the game. He quickly stole second. Alex Kowolski (Lincoln Memorial University) singled to center to make it 1-0. After Bryce Gannon (SEMO), who just joined the team today, grounded out, Breck Nowick (Purdue University) flew out deep to center field making it 2-0 Catfish. In the 3rd the Catfish tacked on another when Trace Harrington (SIU-E) singled in Nowick who had doubled to center making it 3-0 Catfish after three innings of play.

Getting his first start was Ty Allen (Belmont University). He pitched out of trouble in both the first two innings but put up zeros in both frames thanks to a couple dazzling outfield assists. In the first inning Corbin Mallot hosed a runner trying to score from second on a base hit. Then in the second Hayden Nazarenus (Crowder College) hosed a Hoot trying to stretch a single into a double. Owen Clark (Midway University) entered the game in the 3rd and he put up zeros through five innings. He worked around walks and a few hits but came out in the 6th leading 3-0.

He would get into trouble in the 6th when he plunked the leadoff batter Beatty and then he walked Wood. Coach Butler went to his bullpen again and in came Isaac Vedder (MAC) who did a nice job of getting out of the inning only allowing a single Hoot to score. If it wasn’t for a wild pitch he would have gotten out unscathed. The Catfish would tack on two more runs in the bottom of the 6th to push the lead to 5-1. The inning ended when Corbin Mallot was throw out at 3rd on a single by Kowolski who had three hitds on the night. It would end up being huge as the runner Nazarenus didn’t score before the 3rd out was made at home.

With a 5-1 lead Coach Butler went to his most trusted player out of the bullpen this summer, Walker Brodt (Winthrop University). In three appearances, Brodt has pitched six innings and is yet to allow a run while striking out eight and walking only one. The Catfish felt good at this point. Brodt finally looked human and wasn’t quite as sharp tonight as he had been. He gave walked a couple hitters and gave up three hits and left the game at 5-3 and runners on 1st and 3rd with one out. In stepped Arlon Butts who has been equally as sharp this summer. Butts got the first hitter to ground into a 6-4-3 double play and the Catfish were up 5-3 heading into the bottom of the 8th.

The Catfish failed to add to their lead and Butts went out for the 9th knowing it was his game to win or lose. Leading off the inning was Brayden Hackworth, a Jackson alum who plays left field for the Hoots. He hit a line drive to Crowden at short and the ball went off his glove for an error. Beatty grounded out to first but then Wood hit a ground ball to 3rd and Newick’s throw was high and got away from Cannon at first allowing Hackworth to score and the runner Wood advancing to second. A wild pitch by Butts allowed Wood to get to 3rd and a sac fly by Lofton tied the score at 5-5. In stepped Briggs who was batting .230 and hitless on the night. Butts hung a slider and it ended up bouncing off the scorebaord and the Hoots had their first lead of the night at 6-5.

The Catfish threatened in the 9th as Cannon would get his first hit as a Catfish, a one out single, followed by a single from Newick. Strikeouts by Harrington and Crowden would end the game sending the Catfish to their 5th one run loss of the season and 3-7 through the first 10 games.

Game one of the MRV Banks Show Me Slugfest goes to the Hoots. The two teams will face each other again tonight in O’Fallon. You can watch the game on PLTV. The Catfish are back home again Tuesday night for our first Bark in the Park night as they take on Rex Baseball. Buy tickets now at