Mudcats De-Rail Express.

By Joseph Chapman

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The PL Mudcats early quick start to the top of the DRS League & Region standings was stymied with 2 straight losses to St Patrick 6-1 on June 1 and to New Prague 8-2 on Sunday June 5 but they dialed in hosting powerful Elko of Section 1B and a familiar name atop the DRS League standings.

On a perfect night for baseball at PL’s beautiful Veterans Field the host Mudcats would take an early 1-0 lead on a solo homerun to left by ‘Cats shortstop Johnny Houston. The Mudcats extended the lead plating 2 in the 3rd on a clutch 2 out double by leftfielder Tony Loehr to make the score 3-0. 2nd year ‘Cats pitcher Isaac Saad stymied the Express pitching 8 innings in just over 100 pitches yielding 2 runs on 5 hits, 3 strikeouts and 2 walks with an error free effort by the PL defense. With a 5-0 lead after 4, the Mudcats answered Elkos 1st run with a Cole Bjorge no doubter solo shot that cleared the hoop court sailing an estimated 360 feet to rightcenter for a 6-1 lead after 5 innings. The Express posted a run in the 8th to complete the scoring. Justin Hackett closed the door on the hill in the 9th for the Mudcats relieving Saad and facing 5 in a scoreless 9th. The top 5 hitters in the Mudcats lineup provided the “O” in the 12 hit attack knocking 10 hits with Ben Morrison 2-4/run, Houston 2-3/BB/HR, Bjorge 2-4/HR, Loehr 2-4/2B/2RBI and Kyle Schmidt 2-4 producing the offense.

The win advances the Mudcats in the DRS standings holding a critical top 4 slot (currently 3rd) which provides a 1st round playoff bye in Region playoffs at the end of the regular season.