Not exactly deja vu from Wednesday night’s loss to Des Moines, but the pain of the loss hurts just as bad. The Mudcats had control of the game for a good portion, but the first place Mustangs rallied numerous times to comeback and win 9-8. The game of baseball has been cruel to Chillicothe the past two nights and one more loss over the next two games, they will find themselves out of the playoffs next week.
After the Mudcats put up a 4-0 lead in the first, it seemed like the driver’s seat belonged to them. RHP Josiah Golden looked solid for five innings, holding the Mustangs to just two hits and no runs. Golden primarily appeared out of the bullpen this season, but worked as a starter in high school. His dominance seemed like it was going to get the job done for his team. In the sixth inning, now up 6-0, Golden would look to continue dealing. It was at this time that the bats from St. Joe started to wake up, cutting the deficit in half at 6-3. LHP Kainoa Holt would take over in that inning and continue for the seventh. The Mustangs didn’t want to stop at just three runs, as they tied the game at 6-6 in the seventh inning, now a brand new ballgame.
With RHP Jett Ah Sam throwing a scoreless eighth, it would be up to the offense to break the tie. Second Baseman Peyton Becker would drive in two runs on single, taking an 8-6 lead. Sam would look to close it out in the ninth up by two runs. After walking two, Sam would exit and turn it over to RHP Koby Linder to get the final two outs. The Mustangs would eventually rally for three runs, taking an unbelievable 9-8 lead in the ninth. Down by one in the bottom half, it would be up to the middle of the order for Chillicothe. After Third Baseman Zack Thompson reached, First Baseman Elian Guzman would ground into a 5-4-3 double play to end the game, falling 9-8. The play that ended the game looked to be a bit questionable at best, as frustration was evident on head coach Tyler Hudlow’s face.
Now, with two games left, Chillicothe finds themselves tied with Carroll for third place, the final spot for playoffs in the North. Because Carroll owns the tiebreaker, the Mudcats only have tree scenarios to make it into the postseason next week. It’ll come down to Chillicothe needing to win both games this weekend and Carroll losing either one or both of their games, or Chillicothe winning just one and Carroll dropping both games. The Merchants have an off day on Friday, head to St. Joseph on Saturday and host Clarinda on Sunday. For the Mudcats, they head to St. Joseph on Friday and travel to Clarinda on Saturday. If the Mudcats win both and Carroll wins one, they will be watching the Merchants/A’s game on Sunday night, hoping for a fighting chance into the playoffs.