Catfish drop 2 to the red hot Thrillbillies

Cape Girardeau, MO (July 14th) – Friday’s game vs the Thrillbillies turned into a double header based on league rules and a rain out at Thrillville July 1st. “Since we didn’t have anymore games there, league rules state the next time the two teams play the game must be made up”, said Catfish president Glenn Campbell. “No one wants to play a DH but those are the rules.”

It turns out the Thrillbillies like double headers. Throwing two pitchers that they had just recently signed, the Thrillbillies took game one 4-2 and then after a brief rain delay they took game two 3-2. Two great games but for the Fish they head into a weekend off on a sour note.

GAME 1– The Catfish were the road team in game one based on the make up game and they drew first blood when Curry Sutherland (Missouri State) hit his second bomb of the summer. Rapsodo had it at 384 feet and 104mph off his bat, it was a shot and the Fish staked Bogenpohl (Missouri State) to a 1-0 lead. It was short lived. Bogey as his buddies call him, had control problems in the second. He walked the leadoff man for Thrillville, Arnette (Western Ky University) and then Zimmerman (McKendree University) singled to right. With one out Toci (University of South Carolina Aiken) doubled to right scoring Arnette to tie the game at one. The very next batter, Drumke (Eastern Illinois) double to right center as well plating two and giving the Thrillbillies all they would need. They tacked on one more when Lindsey (University of Alabama Huntsville) singled for the rbi and a 4-1 lead.

The Catfish would plate one more in the 4th as McCarthy doubled to center scoring Godsey who walked making it 4-2. The relief pitching for the Catfish was outstanding. Cam Dohogne (Columbia College) pithed 2 2/3 innings not allowing a run. He was relieved by Cameron Lewis who was equally as impressive going 2 1/3 and not allowing a run.

Both games were 7 inning games and the Catfish could have used a couple more. They had a chance in the bottom of the 7th when Zamudio (Los Angeles Pierce College) who was pinch hitting for McCarthy, walked. Sutherland followed suit and the Fish and first and second with no outs. Coach Little opted to pinch hit for Jeffries (Metropolitan CC) who had flied deep to center twice. Triplett (Cumberland University) normally a good bunter, couldn’t get one down and he struck out on a 3-2 fastball and then Zamudio was throw out attempting to steal third base. Creek Robertson (University of Southern Miss) walked to make it first and second again but with two outs. In stepped lane Crowden (University of Southern Indiana)pinch hitting for Chris Hall and he flew out to center to end the game.

The winning pitcher was Nick Oyster who is now 2-0 for the Thrillbillies. He threw six innings giving up two runs on five hits. The win took the Thrillbillies to 9-2 on the second half and they look like the team to beat all of a sudden. On the flip side, Bogenpohl took the loss as he pitched two innings and gave up four runs on four hits and he walked three, his record dropped to 1-1.

GAME 2 – Game 2 which was the originally scheduled game, the rains came and delayed the start just a bit. The starting pitcher for the Catfish, Alex Esker (MAC) got out of the first unscathed but he threw 31 pitches which made it a short night. In came Chaffee native Brevin Yarbro (William Jewel) and the only scoring of the game for Thrillville would be in the second inning. Arnette (Western Kentucky) drew a leadoff walk, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Austin (Centre College) singled up the middle but Carinici (Eastern Kentucky) playing CF for the Catfish gunned Arnette out out home. Schroeder (Eastern Illinois) walked making it first and second with one out and in stepped former Catfish Cameron Hill (Lawson State CC). Hill worked the count to 3-2 and then took a breaking ball about 420 feet over the centerfield wall for a 3-0 lead and it turns out the only runs the Thrillbillies would need.

On the mound for Thrillville was newly signed Michael Pfeiffer (Northwest Shoals CC) who shut down the Fish, giving up one hit and one walk in four innings pitched. The only inning the Catfish scored was in the 5th of reliever Ben Eisenhauer (West Valley College). Poorman (Eastern Illinois)reached on an error to start the inning. Triplett (Cumberland University) followed with a walk and Stockman (Southern Miss) was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Jackson native Quinton Borders (Crowder) hit into a fielders choice and another error scoring Poorman and making it bases loaded still with no outs. One of the biggest at bats of the night was by Jacob Danneman (Hanover) and unfortunately he grounded into a double play, scoring a run but ending the threat as Carinci grounded out to end the inning.

With the lead 3-2, two newly graduated high school players shut down the Thrillbillies for 5+ innings. Sutherland (MO State) threw 1.1 innings allowing three walks, striking out three but zero runs. Jordan Riley (Crowder) pitched his longest outing so fat as a Catfish going 3.2 innings, allowing two hits a walk and striking out eight batters. Kole Turner (Arkansas State) got the final out of the top of the 7th setting up a little drama in the final at bat for the Catfish.

Down 3-2, Scott Little went to his bench, starting with Chris Hall (Lincoln Memorial University) who pinch hit for Tucker Stockman and he tripled to left center field. With a golden opportunity to tie or win the game, Little sent two straight pinch hitters in, McCarthy and Godsey (Belmont) two of the catfish best hitters and both struck out swinging off reliever Logan Mueller and then Carinci, the most consistent hitter for the team struck out swinging to end the game. The celebration began for the Thrillbillies.

Thrillville came in with the best record in the second half in the Western Conference Prairie land Division, 8-2, the Catfish were 6-4. This was a chance for the Catfish to show the league and Thrillville who really owned this division. The Catfish were 7-2 vs Thrillville coming in with three short game wins and ready to send a message. When the hottest day of the season so far was over, what was clear to everyone in attendance is that all of the short game wins the Catfish enjoyed in June were a thing of the past. Ralph Santana the GM and coach went out and found some arms and showed everyone that on August 6th in Cape Girardeau, the first game of the playoffs, his team will be ready. If the Catfish are going to win they’ll have to earn it.

On this day, there was no joy in Cape as Thrillville swept the Catfish and go to 10-2 in the second half and move six games behind the Catfish for the best record in the division. The Catfish end their first 40 games with the best record in the league, 28-12. A game ahead of Chillicothe and in control of their destiny. The pitching was stellar and the hitting, until the last 10 days has been incredible. The toughest stretch of the season is over, the Catfish have the entire weekend off to recharge and they’ll be back at it Monday night in Alton, Illinois.