Capahas ride sixth-inning outburst past Riverdogs

Saturday, June 13, 2009
Plaza Tire's Denver Stuckey connects for a hit during Friday's game at Capaha Field. (Kit Doyle)

Plaza Tire got big contributions from a pair of Mineral Area teammates.

The Plaza Tire Capahas and Charleston Riverdogs already have played each other twice this year.

Both games followed a similar pattern as the Riverdogs hung tough early before the Capahas pulled away late.

Host Plaza Tire trailed 3-2 on Friday night, but a five-run sixth inning paved the way for an 8-3 victory.

In a season-opening 13-0 romp May 31, Plaza Tire led just 3-0 through 5 1/2 innings.

Jason Chavez spins a helmet on his finger during Friday's game.

"It was a very good game. We've had two good games with them," Plaza Tire manager Jess Bolen said. "I thought they played well tonight."

The Capahas, who improved to 4-2, were limited to two hits through four innings and four hits through five frames.

Plaza Tire had seven hits over its final three at-bats, including six during the decisive sixth inning.

"We hadn't played for a week, so I think our bats were a little slow at the start," Plaza Tire's Sean Bard said.

Bard's bat hasn't been slow very often so far as he posted his third three-hit game in a span of eight days.

Capahas baserunner Drew Pixley beats the pickoff throw to Charleston first baseman Caleb Guilliams during Friday's game at Capaha Field. (Kit Doyle)

Bard, who went 3-for-5, is one of several first-year Capahas playing key roles. The Central High School graduate recently completed an impressive two-year career at Division I Mississippi Valley State.

"I like playing here a lot," said Bard, who last saw regular action at Capaha Field as a member of the Cape Girardeau American Legion team. "I like Jess and all the guys. I feel really comfortable."

Dustin Hunter, another Plaza Tire rookie, continued his strong pitching by working seven innings for the second time in as many starts.

Hunter (2-0), who recently completed his freshman season at Mineral Area College, allowed four hits and three runs. He struck out nine and walked two.

"He's looked very good so far," Bolen said.

Riverdogs baserunner Caleb Daughhetee scores Friday as he beats the tag by Capahas catcher Drew Pixley.

Jason Chavez closed out the victory with two dominant innings. He struck out five and allowed one hit.

After being held in check, the Capahas finally broke loose in the sixth inning.

John Amschler had a two-run single, while Tom Bolen and Denver Stuckey added RBI singles.

Bard's two-run single in the third inning gave Plaza Tire a 2-1 lead, but the Riverdogs went ahead with a two-run fourth that featured an RBI double by Greg Craft and an RBI single by Caleb Guilliams.

The Riverdogs had three of their five hits in the fourth inning. They managed just one hit over the final five frames.

In addition to getting 11 hits, the Capahas benefited from nine walks by three Charleston pitchers.

But the Capahas really only were able to capitalize in that big sixth inning as they stranded 12 runners.

Pixley, another Plaza Tire rookie who played with Hunter at Mineral Area College this year, went 2-for-3. He also walked twice and scored three runs.

"He's been a good addition for us," Bolen said.

Trevor Irwin led Charleston with two hits, including a first-inning RBI double that gave the visitors an early lead.

The Capahas are back in action today, hosting Waterloo, Ill., in a 1 p.m. doubleheader.


WP -- Dustin Hunter, 2-0. LP -- Chris Asmus. 2B -- Trevor Irwin (R), Greg Craft (R), Josh Eftink (C). Multiple hits -- Riverdogs, Irwin 2-4; Capahas, Sean Bard 3-5, Drew Pixley 2-3. Records -- Capahas 4-2.

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