NCMC righty faces minimum through five, gives no hits until seventh in Wednesday, June 13, 2018, Chillicothe Mudcats MINK League baseball win at Jefferson City
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Having thrown 2-hits, 1-run ball over five innings in a tough-luck first-start loss a week earlier at St. Joseph, Chillicothe (Mo.) Mudcats righthander Trae Brownell (Novinger, Mo./North Central Missouri College) was even more dominating for a longer time Wednesday night and was rewarded this time.
Brownell faced the minimum number of Jefferson City Renegades through five innings, allowing only one baserunner in that time, and did not allow a hit until the seventh frame as he powered the Mudcats to a 5-2 MINK League baseball victory.
The triumph boosted the Fish’s record to 4-8 in the league and 4-9 overall entering Thursday’s “road trip” finale with another 7 p.m. game in Missouri’s capitol city. Jefferson City is 7-5 overall, 4-5 in league.
That Brownell was sharp as a tack was nearly necessary for Chillicothe to win for the third time during its skein of 9-consecutive games away from home.
The Mudcats were scoreless themselves, but on one hit, through four innings by Renegades righthander Kaden Helsel when hot, home-grown Mudcats outfielder Derek Hussey lit the fuse on some scoring.
Entering the game with a batting average which had jumped about 240 points during the team’s long excursion, he led off the top of the fifth with a hit. After he stole second base – one of his two and the team’s four thefts on the night. After bases on balls to Nick Ray and Jack Cavanaugh, Luke Schwartz’s fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop broke the scoring ice and Peyton Cormane, another hot hitter, singled home a second Mudcats run.
With Brownell cruising, Chillicothe added on in the seventh when Cormane’s sinking liner to right skipped past the right fielder as he dove to try to catch it. That allowed Cavanaugh, who twice was hit by pitches and twice drew walks, to score easily from second base.
Before the drama of a potential no-hitter could build too much, Jefferson City third baseman Logan Hudson broke up the bid with a solid single to left-center field leading off the bottom of the seventh.
When the Chillicothe starting pitcher hit the first batter in the eighth and, afte a wild pitch, allowed a run-scoring single to Ridge Rogers, Brownell (1-1) was lifted. Reliever Hayden House retired the first two batters he faced to end the eighth with the Mudcats still in front, 3-1.
A wild throw by Renegades relief hurl-er Ethan Rackers after he’d hit Ray and passed Cavanaugh to open the top of the ninth, allowed both of them to score, providing House with extra elbow room.
It came in handy when the first two Renegades reached safely in the ninth and one eventually scored when a pitch got past catcher Gaven Strobel. Instead of it being 3-2 with the tying run in scoring position when that happened, the Fish still had a 3-runs lead and that’s how it ended, as House got his first save.
Statistically, in concert with Brownell’s brilliance, Cormane had two hits and two runs batted in. He joined four teammates (Hussey, Dalton Robison, Cole Taylor, and Connor Quick) in having a team-best eight RBI.