Capahas continue mastery of Riverdogs

Monday, June 25, 2007
The Capahas' Jamie McAlister delivered a pitch against the Riverdogs Sunday at Capaha Field. (Fred Lynch/Southeast Missourian)

Plaza Tire came from behind to improve to 29-1 against the area team.

The Plaza Tire Capahas entered Sunday's game with the Charleston Riverdogs having won 28 of 29 meetings between the local amateur baseball teams.

Tim Davis was the winning pitcher the only time the upstart Riverdogs defeated the tradition-rich Capahas, that coming in 2005.

Davis threatened to do it again, but the host Capahas rallied late for a 4-1 victory.

"He's a pretty good pitcher, and he didn't give up anything," Plaza Tire manager Jess Bolen said. "I've always said that when you get a good guy on the mound, anything can happen."

The Capahas improved to 13-3 while the Riverdogs -- off to their best start in their nine-year existence -- fell to 7-8.

"That was a winnable game for us," Riverdogs co-manager Robin Minner said. "We had our chances."

Plaza Tire run-ruled the Riverdogs the first two times the squads squared off this year, 16-4 and 14-1. Both contests, played in Charleston, were stopped after seven innings.

The Capahas never threatened to blow Sunday's game open and did not lead until they scored two unearned runs -- without the benefit of a hit -- in the sixth inning.

Davis was responsible for keeping the Capahas in check.

A product of nearby Shawnee (Ill.) High School, Davis recently completed his senior season at St. Thomas University, an NAIA program in Florida. He recorded seven saves and went 2-2 as the closer for a St. Thomas team that posted a 46-16-1 record and advanced to the NAIA World Series.

He recently joined the Riverdogs after concluding his college career.

Davis had a shutout through five innings Sunday. He wound up being charged with four runs (two earned) on five hits. He struck out one and walked one.

"He pitched a really good game, and he pitched really well for us last weekend," Minner said. "He just got his degree [from St. Thomas], and he's a really good kid. We're glad he's pitching for us again."

Davis and Jamie McAlister hooked up in a pitcher's duel that was scoreless through five innings.

The Riverdogs broke through in the top of the sixth of the wood-bat game, when Micah Walker drilled a home run that carried over the 380-foot mark in right-center.

"He really hit that ball," Minner said. "When you get it out of this park with wood, you've done something."

The Capahas took advantage of miscues by the Riverdogs to score twice in the sixth to take the lead for good.

Omar Padilla led off with a walk and Asif Shah hit a sharp ground ball to second base that looked like a routine double play. But a wide throw put runners on first and second with nobody out.

Levi Olson then reached on a fielder's choice on a ground ball that also should have been turned into a double play, leaving runners on first and second with one out.

Shah moved up to third on a passed ball. With two outs, Shah scored on a wild pitch. Then courtesy runner Josh Parham came home via an error on a ground ball hit by Daryl Graham.

"That one inning killed us," Minner said. "But we had our chances in the game."

The Capahas added two insurance runs in the seventh. With one out, Zach Johnson singled and scored on Robby Moore's double. Moore came around on Shah's two-out single.

McAlister improved to 3-0 as he worked eight innings, allowing five hits and one run. He struck out five and walked one.

"Give them credit for how hard they played," said McAlister, who entered the contest leading the Capahas with an 0.54 ERA. "I think they're a different team than they were when we played them earlier."

Chad Bogenpohl earned the Capahas' first save of the season, allowing one hit in a scoreless ninth.

Moore had two of Plaza Tire's seven hits. Six players had a hit apiece for the Riverdogs, who finished with five errors.

Despite the loss that dropped them a game under .500, the Riverdogs are threatening to post their first-ever winning record.

"We're doing pretty well," Minner said. "We've got a bunch of good kids."

The Capahas return to action Wednesday with a 5 p.m. game against Henderson, Tenn. The contest will be played in Dyersburg, Tenn.

Capahas 4, Riverdogs 1

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WP -- Jamie McAlister. LP -- Tim Davis. HR -- Micah Walker (R). 2B -- Mike Taylor (R), Robby Moore (C). Multiple hits -- Capahas, Moore 2-5. Records -- Capahas 13-3, Riverdogs 7-8.

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