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Late Home Run Helps Mudcats Prevail Over Carroll on the Road

The Chillicothe Mudcats got back in the win column on Friday night, in a back and forth battle with the Carroll Merchants that finished 9-7 in the Mudcats favor at Historic Merchants Park. For the Mudcats, it was their first road victory since the end of May, and it was their third MINK League victory in their past four contests.


The game was tied in the eighth inning, 6-6, and Carroll had their star pitcher, Cullen McBride, on the mound in relief for the starting pitcher, Michael Thompson. After Sammy Cruz started off the inning with a leadoff hit, John Spoto came to the plate. He provided the Mudcats with a go-ahead two run home run, and here’s the call from Matt Clark on KCHI.

The Mudcats would take an 8-6 lead on that home run, Spoto’s first of the season, giving Mudcats reliever Brennan Kettle a cushion as he came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth. He would put the Merchants down in order before Chillicothe scored a vital run in controversial fashioning the top of the ninth. Julio Guerrero attempted to steal home, and was called out initially before the home plate umpire reversed his call, making the game 9-6.


That set up for a fantastic finish in the bottom of the ninth. Merchants’ star hitter Sammy Harris hit a solo home run off of Kettle to start the frame, and Brennan Kettle would later walk another batter, sending the tying run to the plate. With two outs, and a runner on first base, Kettle shut the door on a Merchants comeback, striking out Bryce Hoskinson to end the game. Here’s the call of the final pitch of the game, as it was heard live on KCHI.

For Kettle, it was his first save earned of the season, and the third save claimed by the Mudcats as a team this season. It was the second six-out save of the season by a Mudcat this year.


Chillicothe started the scoring in the game with two runs in the first inning on a Hunter Shoulta RBI single, while Carroll scored an unearned run, making it 2-1 in the second inning. Chillicothe added a run in the top of the fourth with a two out single by Spoto, the first of his 3 RBIs on the day.


Carroll took the lead in the bottom half of the frame by scoring three runs on just two hits, taking three walks in a row with the bases loaded, making it 4-3 in the Merchants’ favor. That knocked Chillicothe starting pitcher, Max Randis, out of the game, and Samir Lopez would pitch a strong 3.1 innings out of the bullpen following Randis’ exit.


The pendulum swung again in the top of the sixth, when Drew Sanidad tagged from second base and scored on a fly out to tie the score at 4, reaching home after a throwing error from the Merchants’ center fielder. Both teams traded two runs each in the seventh inning,  with the Mudcats scoring on a sac fly RBI from Peyton Becker and an RBI single from Julio Guerrero. That made the score 6-6, and the Mudcats finished the game from there.


The 9-7 win for the Mudcats means that they beat Carroll in six of the seven meetings between the two teams in the regular season. In addition, the Mudcats are now tied with the Merchants for fifth place in the MINK League standings, with Chillicothe holding four games in hand against the Merchants.


The Mudcats move to 11-17 on the year in the MINK League, and 13-17 overall. They continue their road trip tonight by visiting Des Moines, as they face the Warren County Cropdusters in a doubleheader Saturday evening. First pitch from game one of the doubleheader is at 5:00 p.m., so be sure to tune into the action of this game and every Mudcats game this summer on KCHI and on