LumberKings Score 6 in 6th to Defeat Catfish 8-4
Cape Girardeau, MO, June 30 – Thursday night’s game at Capaha Field between Cape Catfish and Clinton LumberKings looked like it would be a low-scoring pitchers’ duel with both starters matching each other, pitch for pitch.
Through the first four innings, Catfish starter Colten Weber (Oral Roberts University) and LumberKings hurler Jackson Kent (University of Arizona) put goose eggs on the scoreboard. Weber allowed one hit in the first inning while Kent gave up two in the second. That was it.
But then came the fifth and sixth innings.
LumberKings second baseman Tyler Dahm led off the fifth with a double to right field and the next batter, Clinton first baseman Connor Giusti (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh) was hit by a pitch. Dahm scored on an RBI single to center by left fielder Isaiah Thompson (Indiana State University) and Giusti eventually scored on a fielder’s choice grounder off the bat of right fielder Trevor Burkhart (LSU-Shreveport).
Clinton built an 8-0 lead with six runs in the sixth highlighted by a two-out, bases-clearing double by catcher Eddie Saucedo (Madison College). It was Saucedo’s first hit in his three games with the LumberKings and his only hit Thursday night.
The Catfish cut the Clinton lead in half with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Jackson’s Lane Crowden (Three Rivers Community College) walked to lead off the inning and advanced to third when J.D. Ortiz (SIU-Carbondale) bounced a ground rule double over the left centerfield wall. He and Crowden both scored with Josh Cameron (Southeast Missouri State) also hit a ground rule double that bounced over the wall in dead center field.
Catfish catcher Blake Barton (Belmont University) singled to drive in Cameron. Barton stole second base and scored on a single to center off the bat of third baseman Andrew Sharp (West Virginia State University).
Neither team scored in the final three innings with Clinton (12-15) holding on for an 8-4 win, ending a four game skid. The loss also kept Cape (10-17) from extending its two-game winning streak.
Weber (0-1) took the loss, allowing five hits and six runs, five of them earned, over 5 2/3 innings while striking out seven and walking one. Kent registered his second win for the LumberKings against no losses, tossing five shutout innings before being charged with three runs in the sixth.
Although the Catfish committed two fielding errors, they also made some outstanding defensive plays including diving catches by center fielder Dalton Rudd (Western Kentucky) and by Cameron in left field. Both catches likely kept the LumberKings from scoring additional runs. Outfielder Cam Hill (Purdue) also kept a potential run from scoring when he made a bullseye throw home to keep a runner on third from scoring on a fly ball to right.
Cameron was added to the Catfish roster a few hours before Thursday night’s game and impressed Catfish field manager Stephen Larkin with both his glove and bat, driving in half the Catfish runs. “I told him to go out and do his thing, and he did,” Larkin said after the game.
The Catfish host the Danville Dans Friday in a 6:35 p.m. game. The Dans are in first place in the Wabash River Division of the Prospect League’s Eastern Conference while the Catfish, the league’s 2021 champions, occupy last place in the Prairie Land Division of the league’s Western Conference.
GAME NOTE: Prior to Thursday night’s game, the Catfish and LumberKings, as well as all fans in attendance at Capaha Field, observed a moment of silence in memory of Springfield Lucky Horseshoes pitcher Lucas Otto, 20, who died early Thursday morning.