Big lead vanished in eighth before Chillicothe got six in 10th to win 14-8 Sunday, June 24
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — After seven impressive innings from a pair of relievers to start Sunday’s game, the Chillicothe Mudcats found themselves working overtime after an eighth-inning cave-in. They shrugged that off, though, regaining the lead in the top of the 10th and then tacking on five unearned, insurance runs to dispatch the Jefferson City Renegades, 14-8.
With two outs and the score knotted at 8-8, Connor Quick singled to right-center field to drive in Nate Gawelko, who had led off the extra inning with a hit, from third base.
After a hustling Luke Schwartz reached on an infield bobble to extend the inning, Peyton Cormane, Nico Burgarello, and Chillicothe Derek Hussey stroked run-scoring singles before Gaven Strobel doubled in two more to cement the victory.
Needing an extra frame to prevail was incongruous for the Mudcats, given they out-hit Jefferson City 21-4.
Gaining back-to-back wins for only the second time this summer, the Mudcats pushed their MINK League record to 8-11 and their overall mark to 9-12 entering Monday night’s game at Clarinda, Iowa.
Chillicothe never trailed in Sunday’s contest, but had to get two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning with the potential lead run in scoring position for the home team to say that.
Ahead 8-3 after 7-1⁄2 innings in no small part because of the sturdy pitching of fill-in starting pitcher Derrek Trickel and left-handed reliever Tristen Sewell the Mudcats looked to be fully in charge until head coach Caleb Bounds – a bit short on healthy arms these days – again tried to squeeze a third inning of work from Chillicothean Sewell and saw it backfire.
At Joplin June 11, Sewell was used as a stop-gap starter, allowing one run in two innings before hitting the first batter of the third inning and then allowing home runs to three of the next four batters at the start of what became a 13-runs inning.
This time, having faced 10 batters while going 21⁄3 scoreless innings behind Trickel and being well-positioned for his first win as a Fish, Sewell once again began his third full inning by hitting the leadoff man.
He exacerbated the situation by hitting the next one, too, and then issued a bases-filling walk.
With no damage done yet and hoping to save his other bullpenners for games the next two nights, Bounds stuck with the southpaw, who momentarily rewarded him with a strikeout.
However, he plunked the next man, as well, pushing a run across the plate and closing out his stint.
Had Sewell received the level of quality backup he earlier had provided Trickel – the CHS graduate had retired the Jeff City cleanup batter with two men on in a 5-3 game in the fifth to end that inning, he likely still would have picked up the “W,” despite his staggering conclusion, but that did not happen.
Instead, a line drive single to center field by Logan Hudson, perhaps the Renegades’ best hitter, greeted his replacement. When Hussey got caught in-between trying to catch the ball on the fly and staying back to field it on a long bounce, an unexpected high hop quickly sent the ball past his glove and all the way to the fence for what was ruled an error. All three runners on base scored, suddenly narrowing the Chillicothe lead to 8-7, and Hudson ended up at third base.
Another single followed and, just like that, the Mudcats’ lead and Sewell’s potential win were gone and the game all even.
A walk added to Chillicothe’s worries, but Hayden House (1-1) finally got settled in on the hill. He induced a fly out to left field and, after a wild pitch, got a grounder that shortstop Peyton Cormane made a nice, backhand pickup on and long throw to get the final out of the inning and send the game to the ninth at 8-8.
The Mudcats threatened to re-take the lead in the ninth, but a called strikeout with runners at second and third bases ended the threat.
House quickly set the Rene-gades down in their half, taking the contest to an extra inning, where the Mudcats struck hard to make it a happy trip home.
Chillicothe scored an unearned run in the top of the first, driven in by Gawelko’s 2-outs single that plated Hussey.
Hussey, who had a game-high four hits and reached base in six of his seven plate appearances, scored again in the third on a wild pitch for a 2-0 Mudcats lead.
After Jefferson City made it
2-1 in its third, Hussey doubled in a run in a 3-runs top of the fifth and scored for the third of four times as the Mudcats’ margin grew to 5-1.
A Schwartz leadoff double in the sixth led to him scoring on a wild pitch that made it a 6-3 game. When Strobel singled Nico Burgarello home and then scored on a ground ball that resulted in one of the Renegades’ four errors, Chillicothe looked to be home free, but wasn’t – at least not until it worked a bit of overtime on a Sunday afternoon.
Statistically, the Mudcats finished with some huge offensive numbers, racking up 21 hits – only one less than their all-time high – and having no less than five players stroke three hits each. In addition to Hussey’s four hits, Cole Taylor, Schwartz, Burgarello, and Strobel had three apiece.
Overshadowed by those gaudy hits numbers was the stalwart mound work of Trickel, who does not play intercollegiate baseball, although he is on a club team at the University of Missouri.
Plucked from the ’pen to make the start, the righthander who has and is living with relatives in the Jamesport-Trenton vicinity while he plays with the Mudcats allowed only two hits and three runs – two earned while lasting 42⁄3 innings.
Rescuing the starter with the down-under delivery from the 2-on, 2-outs spot in the fifth, Sewell did not allow any hits in his first 21⁄3 innings before springing a leak in the eighth.
He ended up charged with four runs – all earned – in 22⁄3 innings, even though he did not surrender any hits.
For the second time in 24 hours, Gawelko – strictly an outfielder until this past weekend – finished the game on the mound for Chillicothe and did so impressively. After earning the win in Saturday’s walk-off triumph over Springfield, he threw a 1-2-3 10th Sunday. Because the Chillicothe lead mushroomed to six runs in the top half of the 10th, he did not qualify for a save.