Behind 9-3 in seventh inning Monday (June 3), Fish rally for walk-off win over Clarinda I(Iowa) on Gonzalez hit in ninth
By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — Two games into a season isn’t enough time for a sports team to fully establish an “identity.” It is, however, enough to begin building one and the 2019 Chillicothe Mudcats seem intent on doing so.
After rallying from 5-1 and 6-2 deficits to tie their season opener at currently-undefeated St. Joseph last Saturday before losing in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Fish sent the fans to their vehicles happy Monday night (June 3) by charging back from a 9-3 deficit against the Clarinda (Iowa) A’s to earn their own walk-off win, a 10-9 triumph in their home opener, on Marcus Gonzalez’s 2-runs single into center field with the bases loaded and no outs in the home ninth.
That the Mudcats could and did come back against the Iowans, even from so significant a deficit, was not a complete shock. The A’s, currently short on personnel – especially pitchers, had surrendered double-digits runs total in each of their first three games, even while winning two of them. When Chillicothe successfully completely its charge from behind Monday, Clarinda’s streak of games allowing 10 or more runs was extended to four.
The victory squared both sides’ early won-lost records – the Mudcats improving to 1-1 both overall and in MINK League competition entering Tuesday’s rematch north of the Missouri-Iowa border; the A’s will take the home field at 2-2 in both categories.
Chillicothe head coach Caleb Bounds told the C-T following Monday’s win he expects to start righthander Jake Gill in the game at Clarinda, but with the plan of using multiple relief pitchers through the night, regardless of Gill’s initial effectiveness. That game will start at 7 p.m.
When the Fish return home on Wednesday night to host the defending MINK League champion Sedalia Bombers in a 7:05 contest on “Chuck” Haney Field at “June” Shaffer memorial Park Stadium, Bounds’ intention is to start lefthander Brandan Van Buren, who pitched well for Elgin (Ill.) Community College, a NJCAA Division III baseball school, this spring.