Catfish Play ‘Small Ball’ for Low-Scoring Win
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (June 23) – Most of the Cape Catfish wins this season have been high-scoring affairs with the Fish often collecting dozens of hits and usually winning by wide margins.
That was not the case Friday night at Capaha Field.
But the Catfish still managed to beat the Rockabillys from Jackson, Tennessee, 4-3, despite being outhit by the team from Tennessee, 8-4. The win extended Cape’s current winning streak to five and boosted their eye-popping record to 19-2 as they continued to put distance between themselves and the other 16 teams in the Prospect League.
Although they only managed four hits Friday night, the Catfish made the most of them with each one factoring into their four runs.
In the bottom of the 1st, Cape center fielder and leadoff hitter Justin Carnici (Mineral Area College) slapped the first pitch he saw into right. Rockabilly starter Tyler Smith, a freshman at the University of South Alabama, walked the next two batters to put Carinci on third. He scored when cleanup batter Brody Chrisman (Purdue) hit a sacrifice fly to left to collect his 36th RBI.
Chrisman picked up his 37th run batted in two innings later when he singled to right center scoring Carinci who had walked earlier in the inning.
Cape’s third and fourth runs came in the 7th inning when second baseman Kevin McCarthy from Tennessee Southern knocked an RBI single into left that scored Catfish catcher Tucker Stockman (Southern Mississippi) who had walked to lead off the frame. The next batter, first baseman Landon Godsey from Belmont, also singled to left allowing Carinci, who had been hit by a pitch two batters earlier, to cross the plate.
The Rockabillys scored all three of their runs on a pair of home runs by their right fielder Dalton Rudd who was a member of the Catfish in 2022. Rudd, a sophomore at Three Rivers College, hit a solo home run to dead center field to lead off the 2nd inning and homered again in the top of the 8th with a man on to pull his team to within one run of the Fish.
Catfish starter Dylan Peck from Florida State College at Jacksonville got the win, going five innings, allowing five hits and one run while striking out two and walking three. His record is now 4-0. He was relieved in the 6th inning by Kole Turner (Three Rivers College) who pitched two shutout innings, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out five Rockabillys. Camron Lewis from West Virginia State was credited with the save. After allowing Rudd’s 8th inning home run, he retired the next six Rockabilly batters in order to end the game.
Smith took the loss for the Rockabillys. His record is now 1-1.
Paid attendance Friday night was 1,012.
The Catfish will be back in action Saturday night at Capaha Field against the River Dragons from Alton, Illinois. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online through the Catfish website, www.capecatfish.com
GAME NOTES: Several of Cape’s most potent offensive weapons – Chris Hall from Lincoln Memorial University, Jeff Clarke from Belmont and Jude Putz from Florida State – were unavailable Friday night. Hall, who leads the Prospect League with a .500 batting average, returned home in Georgia due to a death in his family. He is expected to return by Sunday, according to Catfish manager Scott Little. Both Putz and Clarke sat out Friday night’s game due to minor injuries they suffered in games earlier in the week. Putz jammed a finger on his left hand in a game against the Thrillville Thrillbillies and Clarke was hit in the leg by a pitch in another game, but should return to the lineup soon, Little said.