Catfish Rally to Defeat Thrillbillies 9-5

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (June 19) – The Cape Catfish came from behind twice Monday night to defeat the Thrillville Thrillbillies 9-5 at Capaha Field. It was the fourth time the Catfish and Thrillbillies have faced each other this summer and the fourth time the Fish have been victorious.

With the win, the Catfish improved their record to 15-2, the best record in the 17-team Prospect League. On the other side of the coin, the loss dropped the Thrillbillies to 9-7, second place in the league’s Prairie Land Division behind the Catfish.

Cape fell behind early Monday night when, in the top of the 1st, Thrillbilly leadoff batter Kaleb Herbert, a sophomore from Toledo University, hit his first home run of the season off Cape starter Marshal Brown (Arkansas Tech). The Thrillbillies added two more tallies in the 1st on an RBI triple by third baseman Cole Smith (University of Tennessee at Martin) and a sacrifice fly by the next batter, Marion right fielder Michael Mylott (Bradley).

The Catfish answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the 1st on an RBI ground out by left fielder Brody Chrisman (Purdue) that drove in right fielder Jeff Clarke (Belmont) and a double off the left field wall by first baseman Landon Godsey (Belmont) that allowed shortstop Justin Carinci (Eastern Kentucky) to cross the plate.

Marion took a 3-2 lead into the 3rd, but back-to-back doubles by Catfish center fielder Chris Hall (Lincoln Memorial University) and Clarke tied the game. Clarke scored two batters later on an RBI single by Chrisman giving Cape a 4-3 lead after three innings.

The Thrillbillies tied the game in the 4th when Smith collected his second RBI of the game, hitting his first homer of the year. Marion then took a one-run lead in the 5th when Herbert, who had homered to lead off the game, hit a two-out triple into the right field corner and scored on the first pitch to the next batter, center fielder Dylan Drumke (Eastern Illinois), got past Catfish catcher Cal Kilgore (Arkansas).

Marion’s lead was short-lived because for in the bottom of the 5th the Catfish rallied for two runs. The first run scored when Kilgore doubled to center, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and crossed the plate on an error by Thrillbilly first baseman Jackson LIndsey from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The second run scored when Hall, who had singled, stole second, tagged up and made it to third on a fly ball to center, and scored on a wild pitch.

The Catfish widened their lead in the 7th, making the score 9-5, thanks to three infield hits, a bases loaded walk and a two-RBI double by third baseman Lane Crowden, a Jackson product now attending Southern Indiana University.

Catfish relievers Kole Turner, Noah Gadberry and Camron Lewis combined to pitch four innings of shutout ball to preserve the win for Brown, his first of the season. Lewis was credited with the save, pitching the final 1 1/3 innings striking out the first three batters he faced before walking a pair of Thrillbillies and then inducing a ground out to end the game.

Thrillbilly starter Hunter Ralls, who pitches for the Redhawks of Southeast Missouri State University, took the loss and is now 1-2 on the season. Austin Gast from Cape Girardeau, who pitches for Three Rivers Community College, threw 1 1/3 innings for the Thrillbillies, allowing no hits and no runs, retiring the four Catfish he faced in the 7th and 8th innings.

The Catfish finished the game with 16 hits while the Thrillbillies had six hits including a double, a triple and two home runs in a losing effort.

The two teams will face each other again Tuesday, this time in Marion, Illinois. First pitch is scheduled for 6:45 p.m.