Thursday, May 10, 2007

Catching Up On The Catfish

Columbus Catfish logoBeing out of pocket has left me out of touch with my favorite local baseball team, the Columbus Catfish. So I had to do some research to find out how they've been doing.

Well, since the last time I checked (Saturday night's game), the Catfish have won two of three games.

Sunday afternoon, the Catfish completed their first home sweep of the season (second sweep overall this year) by beating the Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees), 5-4.
Maiko Loyola tripled home the go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth inning to give Columbus a 5-4 win over visiting Charleston on Sunday.

After retiring the first two batters in the eighth, RiverDogs reliever David Robertson (1-1) walked Ryan Royster. Loyola followed with his triple to right to snap a 4-4 tie.

After winning the 3-game series, the Catfish headed across the state to take on the Augusta Greenjackets (Giants).

Things started off rough Tuesday, with the Catfish' 5-game winning streak coming to a screeching halt.
Matthew Weston went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to spark Augusta to a 5-1 victory over visiting Columbus on Tuesday.

Weston's RBI single capped a four-run fifth inning that gave the GreenJackets (26-6) a 5-0 advantage. Brian Bocock and Robert Felmy had RBI singles during the outburst.

After that setback, the Catfish bounced back Wednesday night, led by starter Woods Fines, who pitched 6 innings of 3-hit ball, leading the Catfish to a 4-0 win.
Fines (3-2) gave up three hits, walked two and struck out one as he lowered his ERA to 2.06. The 21-year-old right-hander has allowed just one run over his last three starts, a span of 18 1/3 innings.

Brian Baker yielded one hit and struck out two over the final three frames to notch his third save as the Catfish (21-12) recorded their third shutout of the year and first since a 6-0 victory over the GreenJackets on April 19.

Cesar Suarez had three hits and two RBIs and Ryan Royster hit his fifth homer for Columbus, which has won six of its last seven games. Nevin Ashley singled home Maiko Loyola in the fifth to cap the scoring.

The win leaves the Catfish in 3rd place, 5 games behind Augusta.

The Catfish also had a player recognized by the parent club. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who the Catfish players actually play for, named OF Desmond Jennings as their Minor League Player of the Month for April.
During the month he posted a .320 batting average and .387 on-base percentage with two home runs, 12 stolen bases, and 18 runs in 24 games. All that with the bat while patrolling the spacious center field at Golden Park. He started 22 games in center and two as designated hitter.

Jennings put together a 17-game hitting streak from April 13 through April 30. He batted at a .355 clip during that period.

Jennings caught my eye in the very first game of the season. He was the first batter for the Catfish as a Devil Rays affiliate. He led off with a single, stole a base, and later scored the first run of the year. He's continued to play well, as the Player of the Month honor suggests.

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