A week and a half ago, the Columbus Catfish were in first place in the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League, in the midst of a 3-team race for the 1st half title. They had the easiest schedule of the 3 teams, and looked like a shoo-in for a post-season spot.
Since then, they've dropped to 3rd place, 5-1/2 games behind Augusta, who's suddenly the hottest team in the league.
The cooling off of the Catfish continued tonight, with a 4-1 loss to the Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees). They've now lost 6 of their last 9 games against Charleston.
Falling behind 1-0 in the 2nd when Charleston scored an unearned run, the Catfish tied the game when CF Maiko Loyola bunted his way on base with 1 out. He then stole second. With 2 outs, he scored on a Joey Callender (2B) single.
And that was it for Catfish scoring. They had a runner on third on a Ryan Royster (LF) triple, but he was stranded there.
Royster doubled in the 7th, but again was stranded in scoring position.
They had runners on the corners in the 8th, but again couldn't push anyone across.
Lack of hitting was again a key. The Catfish managed only 4 hits, Royster's 2 extra-base hits, and singles by Loyola and Callender.
Woods Fines allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits in 6 innings work, and took the loss, his 4th. He had a pair of strikeouts, walked 1, and hit a batter. Matt Falk pitched 2 perfect innings, striking out 1. Columbus native Brian Baker pitched the 9th, allowing an unearned run and striking out 2.
The Catfish are off Sunday, and open a 7-game road trip to wrap up the 2nd half. They play 3 games in Rome starting Monday, and 4 games in Greenville beginning Thursday.