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Mudcats’ Rough Stretch Continues, Walked Off In Extras at Clarinda

The Chillicothe Mudcats lost in walk off fashion for the second time in the space of a week, with a defeat on the road against the Clarinda A’s Thursday night, this time in extra innings, by a final of 2-1.


A sacrifice fly by Clarinda’s Joey Caruso scored Layth Holiday in the bottom of the 11th, as Holliday started the inning at second base due to courtesy runners at second being given to both teams starting in the 11th inning of play.


Early on, the game was highlighted by the great work by the two starting pitchers. Clarinda’s Damion Cabrera pitched 6 scoreless innings for the A’s, while Koby Linder had the longest start of any Mudcats pitcher this season, throwing 7 and 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball on his end, striking out four and getting out of multiple difficult jams.


While both teams had great chances to score in the first eight innings of action, the game remarkably went into the ninth scoreless. Both teams struggled brutally in the game when hitting with runners in scoring position.


Chillicothe’s John Spoto got on base with a leadoff walk, and was moved over to third on a walk and a fielder’s choice with, Dylan McIntyre, who pitched for Chillicothe last season, on the mound for Clarinda. McIntyre then threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded on his first delivery to Hunter Shoulta, allowing Spoto to score from third to give the Mudcats the 1-0 lead. Chillicothe attempted to get Rafael Calcano from second base to home on the samewild pitch, but was unsuccessful, as Calcano was tagged out on a close play at the plate.


Head coach Tyler Hudlow entrusted relief pitcher Steven Escarcega to get the final three outs to secure the Mudcats victory in the bottom of the ninth. But, Escarcega allowed three Clarinda hits in the frame, with one run crossing the plate via a sacrifice fly to tie the game at one run apiece and send the matchup to extras innings.


Chillicothe left a runner at third base in both the tenth and eleventh innings, which opened the door for Clarinda to walk it off with a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded and no one out in the eleventh. Clarinda ended up doing just that, on Mudcats pitcher Brennan Kettle, who was pitching for the fourth consecutive game in relief.


Chillicothe only mustered four hits on the night, and frustratingly left 18 runners on the base pads. That included leaving the bases loaded in the sixth, ninth, and tenth innings. In addition, the Mudcats stranded a runner at third base in five of the 11 innings. The lack of run production and clutch hitting ended up costing the Mudcats in the end.


Clarinda moves to 5-6 in the MINK League with the win, while Chillicothe is now 4-8 in the MINK, winning one League game in their last 8 tries. Chillicothe now drops out of the playoff spots in the MINK League standings. The Mudcats will need to finish in the top six in order to qualify for the MINK League postseason, but they currently sit in seventh position.


It won’t get any easier for the Mudcats, as they will host the defending MINK League Champions, the Jefferson City Renegades, for the first time this year tonight at Shaffer Park. First pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 7:05 p.m. Catch tonight’s Mudcats game and every Mudcats game this summer on KCHI and on