Every time these two teams play, there always seems to be a lot on the line. Early in the season, Chillicothe claims a 1-0 series lead over St. Joseph in the 2023 regular season. With their eyes set on ending a losing streak, the Mudcats would rally late to take a 5-4 victory. Things got testy throughout the game, but Chillicothe had the last laugh once again.
After two scoreless innings by both teams, St. Joseph would take a 1-0 lead after a sacrifice fly in the third. Two innings later, three more runs would come in to score off of clutch hitting from the Mustangs. The Mudcats now trailed 4-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth, but they battled back to cut the deficit to two runs. Shortstop Peyton Becker would drive in a run on an RBI groundout, followed by an RBI single by Noah Hata, now 4-2. RHP Layne Rutherford would work five innings, surrendering four runs, four hits, five walks and two strikeouts. The Mudcats’ bullpen would take over, as RHP Koby Linder would throw two scoreless innings of work.
After the Mudcats would cut the deficit to one run in the seventh, now 4-3, it was comeback time in the eighth. Outfielder Noah Hata would start the inning with a base hit, his fourth of the night. Designated Hitter Tanner Sears would draw a walk, followed by a sacrifice bunt by First Baseman Elian Guzman. With runners at second and third, Right Fielder Luca Boscarino would tie the game on an RBI single, now 4-4. Next batter, Third Baseman Sammy Cruz would hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Sears from third, now a 5-4 lead for Chillicothe.
Last chance for the Mustangs in the ninth and MINK League Pitcher of the Week RHP Karter Muck would come on to close the door. He would strikeout two batters, allow two baserunners, but get the final batter to groundout to third to get the victory over St. Joseph at 5-4. After the game, there was a small incident between the two teams, as words were exchanged after the last out. The Mustangs threw something towards the Mudcats in the high-five line, as Chillicothe took exception. Cooler heads would prevail as the Mudcats went on the celebrate their second straight victory vs the Mustangs this season.
Quality pitching, clutch hitting and a divisional rivalry game lead the Mudcats to go out and get this victory on Wednesday Night. A lot to celebrate, but still working their way back to a winning record over the next few games.
After an off day on Thursday, Chillicothe welcomes Sedalia to Shaffer Park Friday Night. First pitch is set for 7:05 PM and it is Hawaiian Night at the ballpark.