Capahas bounce back from first loss, shut out Waterloo

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Thanks to dominant pitching, the Craftsman Union Capahas rebounded nicely from their only loss of the season.

Veteran Richie Phillips hurled seven brilliant innings and rookie Justin Simpher followed with two efficient innings as the Capahas defeated the Waterloo (Ill.) Buds 5-0 Friday night at Capaha Field.

The Capahas, who were shut out Tuesday night by Dawson Springs (Ky.), improved to 5-1. Waterloo fell to 9-2.

"It's always nice to bounce back after a loss," Capahas manager Jess Bolen said. "Our pitching tonight was outstanding. Richie looked exceptional and Justin came in and did a good job."

Phillips, 32, who has been one of the Capahas' top pitchers for nearly a decade, missed the 2000 season with a shoulder injury that required surgery. Although he came back to perform well last year, he said he was never quite healthy.

"I had some good games, but I was never 100 percent," he said.

So far this year, however, he said he has felt no pain, which has aided his performance. He improved to 2-0 by allowing two hits, with one strikeout and two walks.

"I'm pain-free, which is the big thing," said Phillips, a right-hander who starred for Southeast Missouri State University in the early 1990s. "Throwing without pain, it's nice. And I'm throwing all four of my pitches for strikes."

Said Capahas right fielder Tom Bolen, who had one of the game's key blows, a two-run double in the fourth inning, "It's good to bounce back after our first loss. And it's great to have Richie throwing like that."

Simpher allowed two hits over the final two innings, with three strikeouts and two walks.

The Capahas didn't exactly pound three Waterloo pitchers and finished with eight hits. Tristen McDonald went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI while Tom Cigno went 2-for-4 with a double. Brian Hopkins and Josh Eftink drove in the other runs.

"Waterloo always has a very good ballclub and we've had some great games with them over the years," Jess Bolen said. "Any time you beat them, you have to feel good, especially to shut them out."

Craig Ohlau went 2-for-3 to lead the Buds. Starter Bobby Dugan took the loss, although he allowed only two hits and an unearned run in three innings.

The Capahas scored the only run they would ultimately need in the second inning. McDonald led off with a double and advanced to third when his hit was misplayed in left field for an error. Hopkins followed with a sacrifice fly.

Bolen's two-run double in the fourth made it 3-0. In the fifth, McDonald had an RBI single and Eftink forced in a run with a walk as the Capahas moved on top 5-0 to complete the night's scoring.

The Capahas will visit Springfield (Ill.) today for a 1 p.m. doubleheader before returning home Sunday to face the St. Louis Printers in a 2 p.m. doubleheader.

(573) 335-6611, extension 132

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