8/7/21: The End Of A Hard Fought Season

Just like that the end of the college summer baseball season is upon us. The Prospect League playoffs are here, and most of the other leagues are wrapping things up also. I think the Northwoods League still has one week to go, but I don’t have plans to visit anymore stadiums at the collegiate level. This blog post marks the end of the first season in the Prospect League for the Clinton Lumberkings. It’s been an awesome season to follow along with, and a great comeback for baseball in the community. Baseball is alive and very well in Clinton!

I looked into traveling to Cape at some point this season, but it didn’t make sense in the schedule I made this year. All I needed was a reason to go, and Clinton gave me that reason. I was able to visit 5 stadiums in the Prospect League this year, and look forward to visiting even more in the future.

So let’s get into the game itself. I was running late because I had to make a couple stops on the way, and the damage done to the Lumberkings happened in that time. I was listening to the radio broadcast on the way in, and the score was already 6-0 Catfish before I made it to the stadium. Had it not been for a couple of tough innings, this game would’ve been very close though.

I heard a lot of great things about the Cape Catfish going into this game, but you never know until you see for yourself. I knew that they were managed and recruited by former MLB player Stephen Larkin, who is also MLB Hall Of Famer Barry Larkin’s brother, but that was all I knew at the time. The Prospect League is very informative about their teams in their podcast episodes, and Larkin was interviewed on an episode. Besides pitching struggles on Clinton’s end, the pitcher from the Catfish seemed to be spotting everything right where he wanted to throw it. It was a run of bad luck for Clinton, against a team that required no margin of error. In a one game playoff, it’s all or nothing. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see the Catfish winning it all in the Prospect League in 2021. One thing I would’ve liked to see, was how Clinton would respond if it was a three game series. This team has shown that they’re never out of a ballgame, numerous times this season. However, I do understand that part of the reason is that school is about to start up again, and they get more regular season games this way.

The ballpark was different from what I was expecting. The Catfish share their stadium with Southeastern Missouri State University, and it’s part of a park. This city, like many others in the league, has a very dedicated fan base. The seats are close to all of the action, also. Most of the fans were sitting on lawn chairs at the top of the hill. It’s a long drive away from home, but I would make the drive again to see the Lumberkings play there, especially if they have tough competition. After the game, I drove 2 hours back up to St. Louis, where I’ll be catching my first MLB game since 2019. Be on the lookout for another blog post either later in the day, or tomorrow! As always, I’ll include all of the pictures at the bottom of this post. Be sure to check out the YouTube video also with very detailed timelapses!

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