Catfish drop their 8th one run game

Clinton, Iowa (June 22, 2024)

For the second straight night the Catfish starter pitched very well. This time it was was Blake Kincaid (Midway University) towing the rubber for four good innings. When he departed after four innings of work, he had given up two runs on two hits, a walk and four strikeouts. The Catfish were leading 5-2. Kincaid had just completed his 3rd straight quality start for the Fish and Catfish skipper knew rain was in the area and went to one of his most reliable bullpen guys of the season.

Top of the 5th entered Drew Wedgeworth (Mo State University) or Wedge as his buddies call him. Wedge came into the game with an era under 1.00 for the season. In 17.1 innings he had given up 2 earned runs. In the 5th inning the Lumberkings doubled his total runs given up as they put 2 on the board as they mounted their comeback. Buchanan greeted Wedgeworth with a solo shot to left field making the score 5-3 and then a 2 out single led to another earned run. The Catfish led 5-4 after five innings and another close game was brewing.

The Catfish failed to score in the top of the 6th. The Kings had outhit the Fish 12-4 up to this point and little did the Catfish know the top of the 6th would be their last official at bat of the evening. In the bottom of the 6th Catfish skipper went to another bullpen arm, Bryce Kemper (FSCJ) to hold the slim one run lead. Three straight singles and a wild pitch tied the game at 5 and then another single by Timmons gave the LumberKings the lead and that would be all they would need.

The Catfish would send a couple hitters to the plate in the 7th but a storm that had been threatening all evening finally hit and the game was halted after the 6th. Final score, Lumberkings 6 and the Catfish 5. For the second time in June the Catfish weren’t allowed to finish a game because of weather and they dropped both contests 6-5 after 6 innings. “We held the lead 5-2 in both of the rain shortened contests so we had our chances,” said Catfish Skipper Phil Butler. “Our bullpen has been solid but we just couldn’t hold the lead tonight. We’ll get on the bus, head back to Springfield and lace em’ up again Sunday.”

This is the 8th one run loss of the young season for a team who now sits at 10-12 and all but eliminated from the first half conversation. “You look at the one run losses and if we finish half those games with a key hit or close a game out, we are 14-8 and we’re 2 games out of first place,” said Butler.

The reality in sports is you are what your record says you are and that would mean the Catfish are a 10-12 team. Those of you who know this team and have watched all of the games like me know in this case the record is deceiving. This team is just a few pitches and plays away from being at the top of the division not the bottom. Lots of baseball left to be played in 2024 and it’s a war of attrition. The Catfish feel good about their team the rest of the way.

The Catfish head to Springfield to finish their final game of the road trip and they take the day off Monday. They play at home Tuesday, road Wednesday and Thursday and then back home Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The goal is to close out the first half on a high note and then go into July with a purpose. That purpose is to flip the script on these close games, get the offense to start clicking a little more and win the second half and head into the playoffs on a high note.

Sundays game at Springfield will be on PLTV and starts at 5pm central time.