Thursday, May 29, 2008

Catfish fall in extra innings, eliminated

The Columbus Catfish eliminated from a first-half playoff berth. Tonight, they dropped a 7-5 decision in 10 innings to the Greenville Drive (Red Sox), as their slide continued.

The Catfish took a 3-0 lead in the 3rd inning. 1B Stephen Vogt singled, stole second, was sacrficed to third, then scored on an error. 3B Omar Luna reached second on that error, stole third, then scored on an errant pickoff attempt. RF Jackson Brennan, who walked, moved to second on that error, then scored on another error, putting the Catfish up by 3.

It stayed that way until the 6th, when Greenville scored 4 runs, driving starter Glenn Gibson from the game. Gibson had only allowed 2 hits in the first 5 innings.

The Catfish tied it in the bottom of the 6th. SS Shawn O'Malley bunted his way on, moved to second on a walk, took third on a ground out, then scored on another ground out, tying it at 4.

Each team scored in the 8th, Greenville on a solo home run, and the Catfish when O'Malley singled, took second on an error, third on a ground out, and scored on a sacrifice fly by DH Greg Sexton.

Greenville scored two unearned runs in the top of the 10th to take a 7-5 win.

Gibson went 5-1/3 innings, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits, striking out a pair. Jeremy Hall went 2-1/3, allowing a run on 2 hits, striking out 4. Kevin Boggan went 2-1/3, allowing 2 unearned runs and notching 3 Ks. He took the loss.

Catfish bats were silent most of the night. O'Malley had 2 hits, Vogt had 1 ... and that was it. Only 1 of the Catfish' 5 runs was earned.

The loss is the 7th in a row for the Catfish, and officially eliminated them from a first-half playoff spot. About that...

The South Atlantic League uses a split-season format. Essentially, the 140-game season is divided into 2 halves. After the first 70 games are played, whoever is in first place in each division earns a playoff spot. The next 70 games make up the 2nd half, and whoever has the best record in that group of games gets a playoff spot. They have contingencies if it's the same team both times.

Anyway, the best the Catfish could do would be to tie first-place Asheville; that assumes the Catfish win all of the 17 games they have remaining in the first half, and that Asheville loses all 16 of their remaining first-half games; if that unlikely scenario came to be, Asheville would win a tie-breaker by virtue of their 7-1 record against the Catfish in the first half.

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