Catfish Finish Road Trip With Doubleheader Split

Springfield, IL July 29 – The Cape Catfish completed a three-day, five-game road trip Friday with a doubleheader split against the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes, losing game one 7-1 and coming from behind in the nightcap to win 8-6.

GAME ONE: Cape took an early lead when, in the first inning, designated hitter Blake Barton (Belmont University) picked up an infield RBI single. But Springfield answered with three runs in the bottom of the first thanks to a pair of sacrifice flies by shortstop Sam Antonacci (Heartland Community College) and third baseman Jake Allgeyer (Spoon River College) and a wild pitch thrown by Catfish starter Tanner Mueller (Southeast Missouri State) to give Springfield a 3-1 lead after one.

The Horseshoes added four more runs in the third. Mueller walked Allgeyer, the lead off batter, and then hit the next batter, first baseman Brandon Hager (Arkansas State) to put Shoes on first and second with no outs. Designated hitter Kevin McCarthy from Lincoln Memorial University singled to left to score Allgeyer and advanced to second on a wild pitch that allowed Hager to score. McCarthy crossed the plate thanks to an RBI single to left by left fielder Peter Jelenic (Oakland University). The fourth run of the inning was scored on a fielder’s choice RBI off the bat of center fielder Peter Fusek (Milwaukee Area Technical College) that drove in second baseman Anthony DeConcilis (University of Illinois at Springfield) who had reached base on a walk.

All seven Springfield runs were charged to Mueller (0-4) who lasted 2 1/3 innings, allowing just two hits but walking six Horseshoe batters. He was relieved in the third inning by Belmont’s Jordan Zuger who pitched the rest of the seven-inning game. Zuger allowed just two hits and struck out five batters while walking just one.

Springfield starter Jake Curtis, a sophomore at Land of Lincoln Community College, went 6 2/3 innings, allowing five Catfish hits while striking out seven Catfish and walking two to earn the win and improve his record to 4-0 in 11 mound appearances this season.

GAME TWO: Cape fell behind 3-0 in the second inning when Fusek doubled home two runs and scored when Antonacci, the next batter, doubled to left.

Cape got on the scoreboard in the fourth when first baseman Cam Careswell from the University of Missouri hit the first of his two doubles on the night, scoring left fielder Blake Barton (Belmont) and catcher Andrew Sharp (West Virginia State), making the score 3-2.

But Springfield regained its three-run lead in the fifth when DeConcilis hit a bases-loaded single that scored Allgeyer and, with the bases still loaded, Jelenic was hit by a pitch to bring in Springfield’s fifth run.

Cape took the lead in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs, two of which were courtesy of Careswell’s second double of the game that drove in designated hitter Danny Sperling (SEMO State) and a bases-loaded single by second baseman Zane Wallace (Lyon College) that scored Barton. The other two runs came when center fielder Christopher Hall (Florida State College at Jacksonville) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Sharp, the next batter, walked.

Those runs gave Cape a one-run lead, 6-5, but a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth allowed Springfield to tie the game.

Neither team scored in the seventh, but in the top of the eighth Sperling drove in a pair of runs on a bases-loaded single to center that drove in Wallace and shortstop Lane Crowden (Three Rivers Community College) to give the Fish an 8-6 edge.

Austin Brock (Arkansas State) pitched the final two innings for Cape to earn the win, improving his record to 3-1. Springfield reliever Holden Missey (Truman State University) took the loss, pitching the final three innings for Springfield, allowing two runs on two hits while walking three and striking out two. His record is now 0-1.

Cape starter Braden Polzien (Buena Vista University) allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits while walking three and striking out six. Colin Bryant (West Virginia State) relieved Polzien in the fifth, allowing one run and one hit over two innings while striking out four and walking two.

WINNING ROAD TRIP: The Catfish went 3-2 on their five-game road trip, splitting a doubleheader against the Normal CornBelters on Wednesday, defeating the O’Fallon Hoots on Thursday and winning one of two games against Springfield Friday.

Heading into the final week of the season, Cape’s overall record stands at 21-30, 9-11 in the Prospect League’s second half.

The Catfish open a two-game weekend series against the Quincy Gems with games set for 6:35 p.m. Saturday and 4:05 p.m. Sunday at Capaha Field in Cape Girardeau. Cape will host Springfield Monday night before finishing their season schedule with four games against O’Fallon.