Catfish Score Late to Defeat River Dragons 4-3

Cape Girardeau, MO July 22 – Despite being outhit 10-6, the Cape Catfish held on Friday night to defeat the Alton River Dragons 4-3 at Cape Girardeau’s Capaha Field.

Cape got on the scoreboard first Friday night when leadoff hitter Christopher Hall from Florida State College at Jacksonville was hit by a pitch, stole second, advanced to third when the Alton catcher’s throw dribbled into shallow left field and then scored on a sacrifice fly to deep center field by Catfish shortstop John Bolton. Bolton, who was just added to the Catfish roster, is from Memphis, Tennessee, played for Austin Peay University last spring.

Alton tied the game in the second with a two-out RBI infield single by Robby Taul (Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina). Taul’s single drove in Kameron Laskowski (University of Missouri-St. Louis) who reached base on a single to lead off the inning.

Cape regained the lead in the bottom of the second when Catfish right fielder Khyle Radcliffe, a redshirt sophomore from John A. Logan College, connected with a two-out RBI single that scored Ty Stauss (Southeast Missouri State) who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Radcliffe, appearing in his fourth game with the Catfish, was 0 for 13 prior to that hit.

The Catfish made it 3-1 in the fourth inning when third baseman Kolton Poorman (Three Rivers Community College) hit his fifth double of the season, advanced to third on a balk by Alton starting pitcher Justin Needles (Elon University in Elon, North Carolina), and scored on Radcliffe’s second RBI of the game, a sacrifice fly to center field.

But the River Dragons scored twice in the top of the fifth thanks to a single and a walk issued by Cape starter Tanner Mueller (SEMO State), an RBI single by Laskowski off Catfish reliever Chad Donze (Lindenwood University) and a passed ball that allowed a second run to score.

The game remained tied until the Catfish batted in the eighth when Poorman singled to left and scored when the next batter, Danny Sperling (SEMO State) laid down a bunt fielded by Dragons relief pitcher Eric Brockemeier whose throw to first base sailed into foul territory along the right field line. The error allowed Poorman to score from first without a throw.

Cape took a one-run lead into the ninth, but Dragons’ center fielder Blake Burris (Lewis and Clark Community College) led off the inning with a single up the middle. He advanced to second with one out on a passed ball. He was stranded there as Cape reliever Austin Brock (Arkansas State) struck out the next two batters to end the game and earn his second save of the season.

Neither starting pitcher factored in the decision. Mueller went four innings for the Catfish, allowing three runs on five Alton hits while walking four and striking out three. Needles lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and three Catfish runs while recording three strikeouts and issuing one base on balls.

The win went to Bryce Morgan (1-1) from Mineral Area College who pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing two hits and no runs. Brockemeier was the losing pitcher, allowing Cape to score the winning run in the eighth. His record fell to 0-1.

With the win, the Catfish record improved to 5-8 in the second half of the Prospect League season, 17-27 overall. Alton’s second-half record fell to 5-10, 23-23 overall.

The Catfish travel to Terre Haute, Indiana, Saturday to play the REX Baseball Club in a 6:30 p.m. game.

GAME NOTES: Catfish first baseman Dante Zamudio (West Virginia State University) left the game in the fifth inning after suffering an elbow injury when he collided with Dragon’s designated hitter Chris Andrews from Monmouth University. Andrews was running out a ground ball as Zamudio attempted to catch a wide throw by third baseman Kolton Poorman. Zamudio was replaced at first by Mizzou’s Cam Careswell.