Cape Holds On in ‘Thriller’ to Defeat Thrillbillies, 8-5

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (June 29) – A five-run 6th inning was enough for the Cape Catfish as they held on to claim an 8-5 win over the Thrillville Thrillbillies at Capaha Field Thursday night, ending Cape’s four-game losing streak.

With the win, the Catfish became the first team in the Prospect League to reach the 20-win plateau and, with a record of 20-6, they’re guaranteed to end the first half of the league’s 2023 season on Sunday atop the league’s Prairie Land Division.

The Thrillbillies took an early lead Thursday night with an RBI single in the 2nd by left fielder Cameron Hill (who played for the Catfish in 2022) and a solo home run in the top of the 3rd off the bat of right fielder Jackson McCoy. McCoy also went deep against the Catfish Wednesday night at the Thrillbillies’ home field in Marion, Illinois.

The Fish answered with a run in the bottom of the 3rd when catcher Landon Godsey (Belmont) doubled to left center driving in Mineral Area College’s Justin Carinci from third. They tied the game in the 4th when designated hitter Dee Triplett (Cumberland University) singled to right, stole second, advanced to third on a hit by third baseman Curry Sutherland (Missouri State) and scored on a single to left by right fielder Jeff Clarke (Belmont).

Purdue’s Brody Chrisman, the Catfish left fielder who came into Thursday night’s game with a .422 batting average, led off the bottom of the 5th with his 10th double of the season, a one-hopper that bounced over the wall in right center. He promptly stole third and scored when the next batter, catcher Landon Godsey from Belmont, grounded out to short, giving the Fish a 3-2 lead.

The Catfish broke the game open with five runs in the 6th. The inning started with Triplett’s second single of the game, a walk to Sutherland and a bunt single by center fielder Chris Hall from Lincoln Memorial University to load the bases with no outs. Right fielder Jeff Clarke from Belmont University then singled to score Triplett, Carinci hit an infield single that cleared the bases when Thrillbilly pitcher Kale Cameron’s late throw to first sailed into foul territory up the right field line, allowing Carinci to make it all the way to third. He scored two batters later on Godsey’s second double (and second RBI) of the game.

The Thrillbillies made it interesting in the 9th, sending nine batters to the plate and pushing three runs across the plate. But they left the bases loaded when Catfish reliever Jordan Riley struck out Thrillbilly third baseman Bryson Arnette to end the game.

The Catfish had 8 runs on 15 hits, one error and 12 runners left on base. The Thrillbillies scored 5 runs on nine hits and committed two errors while stranding nine runners.

Catfish starter Dylan Peck from Florida State College at Jacksonville got the win, boosting his record to 5-0 to lead the league in wins. He allowed two runs on six hits Thursday night while walking one and striking out seven Thrillbillies in his six innings of work. Riley qualified for the save, recording the final two outs in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded.

Thrillbilly reliever Kale Cameron was the losing pitcher, giving up seven Catfish runs (five earned) in three innings. His record is now 0-1.

The Catfish and Thrillbillies will face each other again Friday at Marion Stadium in Marion, Illinois. First pitch is scheduled for 6:45 p.m.