Catfish Score Early and Often in Double-Digit Win

Springfield, Ill., June 9 – The Catfish bats were hot Thursday night, pounding out 17 hits in a 15-2 win over the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes in a game that ended after seven innings under the Prospect League’s 10-run rule.

The win pushed the Catfish over the .500 mark for the first time this season at 5-4, putting them in second place in the league’s Prairie Land Division, 1.5 games behind the Alton River Dragons. Meanwhile, the Horseshoes fell to 3-6 and are currently in last place in the four-time division.

The Catfish jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning Thursday night on the strength of back-to-back solo long balls by second baseman J.D. Ortiz (SIU-Carbondale) and designated hitter Dante Zamudio (West Virginia State University) and a two-run single by left fielder Dalton Rudd (Western Kentucky University).

Cape plated six more runs in the second frame, scoring on a wild pitch, a Zamudio RBI single, a fielder’s choice grounder off the bat of first baseman Cam Careswell (University of Missouri), an RBI double by catcher Blake Barton (Belmont University), and a double by shortstop Lane Crowden (Three Rivers Community College), that resulted in two more runs.

The Catfish scored twice in the third inning and three more times in the fifth. Every Catfish batter, with the exception of right fielder Cam Hill (Purdue) who went hitless, had at least one base hit and scored at least one run. Zamudio and Barton each went three-for-five. Crowden also had three hits in three official plate appearances. Rudd was the game’s RBI leader with four.

The Horseshoes’ runs came on a solo homer in the third inning by right fielder Dylan Nevar and fielder’s choice infield ground out in the sixth.

Cape starter Eli Brown (Lindenwood University) from Perryville pitched the first three innings, giving up four hits and one run while striking out two and walking two. Reliever Bryce Morgan (Mineral Area College) from Benton, Missouri, was credited with the win, pitching three innings, allowing two hits and one run while striking out two and walking two. Stephen Pursley (Drury University) from Arcadia, Missouri, pitched a hitless final inning for the Catfish.

Springfield starter Bryant Byrd took the loss, allowing eight hits and 10 earned runs in the game’s first two innings.

Each team had an error.

“We just swung the bats at the right time,” said Catfish field manager Stephen Larkin. “We were also aggressive on the bases and took advantage of some bad hops (which allowed several runs to score).”

The Catfish return to Capaha Field in Cape Girardeau for a two-game series against the Burlington Bees on Friday and Saturday with start times set for 6:35 p.m. both days.