Catfish Score Late to Beat Thrillbillies and Win Border Series
MARION, IL (July 2) – The Cape Catfish scored a come-from-behind win with three runs in the 8th inning to beat the Thrillville Thrillbillies 4-1 on the road Sunday night and, in doing so, they won the inaugural “Battle of the Border” trophy by taking two of three games from the Thrillbillies in the past five days.
Sunday night’s game also marked the end of the Prospect League’s first half with the Catfish finishing with a league-leading 22-6 record and a first-place position in the league’s Prairie Land Division. The Thrillbillies finished the first half of their schedule with a 12-13 record, third place in the same division as the Catfish.
The Thrillbillies scored the first run of Sunday night’s game without the benefit of a hit when Catfish starter Alex Esker, who pitches during the school year for the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks, walked the bases loaded and Thrillville catcher Charlie Corum from Murray State hit a sacrifice fly to deep left.
Esker held the Thrillbillies hitless during his three innings on the mound. He was relieved in the 4th by former Jackson Indian and now Missouri State Bear Caden Bogenpohl who also pitched no-hit ball in the 4th and 5th innings. Finally, with two outs in the 6th, Thrillville broke up Cape’s no-hitter with an infield hit by left fielder Jackson McCoy (John A. Logan College) to a diving Catfish third baseman Quinton Borders (Crowder College). Borders was able to keep the ball on the infield, but his throw from his knees to first was too late to catch McCoy.
Meanwhile, the Catfish were held to just two hits through the first seven innings, a pair of singles in the 3rd frame, one by Borders and the other by second baseman Jordan Danneman from Hanover College. But Borders was picked off first and Danneman was stranded on the basepath.
And then, just as the Thrillbillies had done in the 2nd, the Catfish scored in the 8th without a hit…not once, not twice, but three times. They scored thanks to four walks, an error by Thrillbilly second baseman Alex Zimmerman (McKendree University) and a pitch by reliever Eli Pillsbury (John A. Logan College) that hit Catfish center fielder Chris Hall (Lincoln Memorial University).
Cape would have scored at least one more run in the 8th were it not for an excellent outfield assist from Thrillville right fielder Michael Mylott from Bradley University who, with one out and the bases loaded, caught a fly ball down the right field line and threw a strike to Thrillbilly catcher Charlie Corum at home plate who tagged out Catfish runner Jeff Clarke (Belmont) as he tried to score from third.
The Catfish took a 3-1 lead into the 9th, adding a fourth run when Creek Robertson from Southern Miss, who was inserted into the lineup as a pinch runner in the 7th, drew a two-out walk, stole second and third, then scored on Danneman’s second hit of the game, a single to left.
Catfish reliever Kam Dohogne from Oran, Missouri, now attending Columbia College, allowed just one hit as he pitched the final three innings and retired the Thrillbillies in order in the 9th to earn the win. His record is now 2-0. Pillsbury took the loss, going a third of an inning and allowing three Catfish runs.
Cape finished the game with four runs on four hits and no errors, while Thrillville managed just two hits and one run while committing four fielding miscues.
The Catfish are back in action Monday night as they kick off the second half of the Prospect League season against the Lucky Horseshoes in Springfield, Illinois. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Their next game at Capaha Field in Cape Girardeau will be Wednesday against the Rockabillies from Jackson, Tennessee. Game time Wednesday is 6:35 p.m. Tickets for that game, and all Catfish home games, are available online through the Catfish website, www.capecatfish.com.