Catfish Win in Grand Style Over River Dragons

Cape Girardeau, MO July 6 – The Cape Catfish took full advantage of walks, timely hitting and Cam Careswell’s first career grand slam to defeat the Alton River Dragons 12-2 Wednesday night at Capaha Field.

After giving up a run in the first inning, the Catfish came back with two in the third on the strength of a two-out solo home run off the bat of West Virginia State University’s Dante Zamudio, his fifth of the season, and an RBI single by Kolten Poorman (Three Rivers Community College) that plated J.D. Ortiz (SIU-Carbondale).

The Fish added a run in the fifth inning when Josh Cameron (Southeast Missouri State) walked to lead off the inning, advanced to second on an error and scored on a single by SEMO teammate Ty Stauss.

The River Dragons cut the Catfish lead to 3-2 in the top of the seventh on an RBI groundout by Monmouth University’s Chris Andrews.

Alton starter Adam Stilts (Lewis & Clark Community College) was relieved in the seventh inning by left-handed pitcher Alec Nigut, a redshirt freshman from the University of Iowa. Nigut struck out Cameron and retired Stauss on a pop up, but he walked Zamudio, Ortiz and Poorman to load the bases. Alton then made another pitching change, bringing in right-hander Kalen Reardon (Lewis & Clark) to face left-handed hitter Careswell, Cape’s first baseman from the University of Missouri.

With two outs and the bases loaded and after falling behind on the count, Careswell didn’t bite on a pair of breaking balls out of the zone, working the count full. He hit the next pitch, a fastball, over the wall in right center field. It was Careswell’s fourth home run of the season and the first grand slam hit by any Cape player in 2022.

“I had a pretty good idea he’d be throwing me a fastball next and I was ready for it,” Careswell said afterward. Asked how long it has been since he hit a grand slam, Careswell said he thinks this was his first. “I don’t think I ever hit a grand slam before this one,” he said. Not in Little League, not in High School, not ever.

Careswell’s home run was Cape’s 10th hit of the game, all of which came with two outs.

The Catfish added five more runs in the 8th inning on the strengh of a two-RBI single by Zamudio, a two-RBI double by Ortiz and an RBI triple by Stauss, making the score 12-2 and ending the game under the Prospect League’s 10-run rule.

Every Catfish batter reached base at least once. Stauss had three hits in five plate appearances while Zamudio, Ortiz and Careswell all went two-for-four at the plate.

Cape starter and Kennett native Marshall Brown (Arkansas Tech) went five innings allowing one run on five hits to earn the win and even his record at 2-2. Stilts (3-3) took the loss allowing three runs on nine Catfish hits.

The Catfish face the River Dragons again Thursday at Capaha Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.