A beautiful summer Wednesday evening at CarShield Field featured a Prairie Land Division matchup between the Cape Catfish (4-4) and the hometown O’Fallon Hoots (2-5). After the Hoots won a 4-0 contest at Cape on Tuesday, the Catfish battled back for the 3-2 road victory in O’Fallon.
After strong starting performances from Hunter Ralls (Cape) and Matt James (O’Fallon), the first loud contact of the game came in the 4th inning off the bat of Cam Careswell. The University of Missouri product recorded his first home run of the season with the solo shot off James. Careswell hit a two-run shot off Justin Coleman in the sixth inning to push the score to 3-0 in favor of the Catfish.
Despite the struggles against the Cape first baseman, the Hoots lineup saw a boost with the bat of Ryan Malzahn. Malzahn, a returning Hoot from 2021 and SEMO product, recorded three hits in the ball game, including an RBI single in the sixth in his season debut. The sixth inning single scored Alex Adams, who continued his hot start to the season with a double.
Defensively, the Hoots saw some smooth fielding plays from Evan Albrecht at Short and Cole Robinson at first. Albrecht was removed from the game for a pinch hitter in the form of his Purdue Boilermaker teammate Cade Hohl in the sixth. However, the first six innings saw three putouts from Albrecht. Cole Robinson also looked impressive playing his position over at first. He made an unassisted putout of the speedy Christopher Hall in the first, made a nice pick at 1st base, and recorded an assist on a putout during a bases loaded jam in the seventh.
The Hoots crawled closer in the eighth inning with a small two-out rally. Cade Hohl, who entered the game as a pinch hitter, delivered a double over the head of Catfish Right Fielder Cam Hill. Following Hohl, Alex Adams drove a ball into left center that was played poorly by the Catfish outfield. Hohl scored on the play and Adams found himself on second, cutting the Catfish lead down to one.
O’Fallon threatened in the ninth, bringing the tying run to second base in the form of Noah Fisher, however they were unsuccessful in bringing him home. The Hoots will be in action next on Thursday as they have a double header against the Burlington Bees, first game starting at 5:35pm. Tickets are available online or at CarShield Field in the box office.