Catfish Drop High-Scoring Game in Extra Innings

Alton, Ill., June 16 – In a game that lasted 11 innings and nearly four hours, the Alton River Dragons overcame an early five run deficit to beat the Cape Catfish 9-8 at Lloyd Hopkins field in Alton.

The Catfish (7-8) plated five runs in the top of the first on back-to-back doubles by Ty Stauss (Southeast Missouri State University) and Cam Careswell (University of Missouri), each of which drove in a pair of runs. J.D. Ortiz (SIU-Carbondale) also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in to put Cape on top 5-0 heading into the bottom of the first frame.

But Alton (10-5) came back with seven unanswered runs – one in the first, two in the second and four in the third – to take a 7-5 advantage. Highlighting the Dragons’ seven-run scoring attack were triples in the second inning by Chris Andrews (Monmouth University) and Gage Mestas (Pima Community College), both of which accounted for an RBI. Eddie King Jr. (University of Louisville) hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot, in the third inning.

The Catfish scored a run in the fifth on an infield error that allowed Jayme Villafame (Florida State College at Jacksonville) to score and another in the sixth on a wild pitch allowing Ortiz to cross the plate, making the score 7-7.

Alton untied the score in the eighth inning on the strength of a solo home run by Troy Johnson (Davidson College) off Cape reliever Marshall Brown (Arkansas Tech University). But the Catfish answered to a run of their own in the top of the ninth when Careswell hit a two-out single to center field driving in Danny Sperling (Southeast Missouri State) who had doubled two batters earlier.

The score remained tied until the bottom of the 11th when, with two outs and the potential winning run on third, Alton first baseman Marcus Heusohn (Iowa Western Community College) singled to left to end the game.

Dragons’ shortstop Robby Taul (Winthrop University) pitched the final four innings for the win bringing his record to 1-0 in his second pitching appearance. Catfish designated hitter Dante Zamudio (West Virginia State University) pitched the 11th for Cape, striking out two Dragons, but allowing a double to Mestas and a single to Blake Burris (Lewis and Clarke Community College) and Heusohn’s game-winning single. It was Zamudio’s second pitching appearance this season and first loss.

The Catfish finished the game with eight hits, 13 runs and no errors while the River Dragons had nine runs on 16 hits while committing two errors.

From Alton, the Catfish head to Clinton, Iowa, for games Friday and Saturday nights against the Clinton Lumberkings with both games slated for 6:30 p.m. starts.