They say, “How can you not be romantic about baseball?” for certain games. Thursday night’s home game against St. Joseph proved to be one of those games. This was the kind of game that had everything from top to bottom. From passion to aggression to suspense, it all ended with celebratory fireworks in the end. For the third time this season, the Mudcats defeat the reigning MINK League Champions, the St. Joseph Mustangs, 10-7. Both teams came in riding four-game winning streaks, but one team was going to leave with a broken streak. The only thing that came to an end for Chillicothe: Luca Boscarino’s time as a Mudcats in 2023.
Before getting into Boscarino, it was a team effort win for Chillicothe. RHP Layne Rutherford toed the rubber for the Mudcats for the second straight time against the Mustangs. Rutherford would pitch effective all throughout, going 5.2 IP, allowing three runs off of four hits and striking out three. RHP’s Josiah Golden, Justice Ramirez and Karter Muck would do their part out of the bullpen. After a shaky start for Golden, he would return the next inning and set down the first three hitters in order. Ramirez would take over in the eighth, allow one run, but keep the Mudcats in it. Muck would be the one to finish the game, allowing one run, striking out two and leaving the bases loaded to end the game. This would also be the second time Muck would be on in the ninth to shut down St. Joseph.
As for the offense, it came down to an early offensive start for the Mudcats, as they scored four in the first inning. They would score six runs over the next three innings, taking a 10-1 lead at the time. Obviously, the Mustangs tried their best to battle back, but Chillicothe’s early runs proved to be the difference. Center Fielder Noah Hata would have a night, going 3-5 with a double, scoring twice and driving in one run. Designated Hitter Kodai Yaoita would put up a multi-hit game, going 2-4 with a double and two RBIs. Finally, the man they call “Bosco” in Right Fielder Luca Boscarino would go 2-4 with a double and three RBIs in his final game of the season. What’s more romantic? Boscarino would be the one to make the final play of the game with a flyout to right to lock down the win.
One cannot script a better victory for the Mudcats. Now, yes, they could’ve obviously not made it as close, but it wouldn’t have had the same effect. A close victory seems to be the moral of the story for Chillicothe as of late. On Monday in Sedalia, they won 4-3. On Wednesday in Des Moines, they won 3-2 in extra innings. Now they win a game by three runs, leaving the tying run on base, against a division rival team in St. Joseph. The final thing that made it a perfect night for the men in maroon: victory fireworks light up the sky behind centerfield.
Chillicothe has an off day on Friday, but hit the road on Saturday to start their three-game road trip. First stop is going to be in Des Moines, first pitch set for 7:00 PM.