The Meridian Star
The Hub City River Cats have been hoping for catcher Galen Douchett to have a night like he did on Saturday.
However, they probably wish it hadn't been at their own expense.
Two hours before game time, the River Cats allowed Douchett to play the game for Meridian, as the Spikes were without a catcher due to injury. He later made them pay, going two-for-four with two home runs and three RBIs on the night. However, Douchett's performance was not enough as Meridian fell to Hub City, 15-7.
“They are coming at you with a lot of familiar faces,” Douchett said with a smile. “It's more of a joke really, it's all for the fun of the game. It's summer ball, it's what it is for –– you want to have fun with it.
“For me, the big thing was getting at bats and catching a lot of innings. It was kind of a turnaround night for me for the summer. Hopefully I can use this and move on to the season.”
While rounding the bases during his first home run in the bottom of the second, Douchett said he was bombarded by friendly taunts from his Hub City teammates.
“Of course, I get around first base and everyone is like, 'why can't you do that for us,'” Douchett said. “They were just giving me a hard time.”
After he belted another bomb in the sixth, he received even more heat.
“After that second one, they were like, 'are you kidding me,” Douchett said. “They joked with me and said I could go ahead and play for Meridian now.”
Although River Cat players were only kidding with Douchett, Meridian head coach Colton Mitchell said he would gladly welcome the catcher onto his team.
“Shoot, we are going to try to keep him now,” Meridian head coach Colton Mitchell said.
The scenario might not be all that far-fetched, as Hub City already has three catchers on its roster. Aiming to get as many at bats this summer, Douchett said he doesn't rule out the possibility of playing for the Spikes again in the future.
“You just never know,” Douchett said. “If they ever need someone to come and catch, I'm always up for it. I'll never turn down any work.”
The Spikes (2-6) got off to an early three-run lead, scoring a run in the first before Douchett's two-run homer in the second. However, six Meridian errors on the night allowed Hub City (7-4) plenty of the opportunities at the plate and spurred the comeback for the River Cats.
Former Newton County and East Central standout Xavier Franklin was Meridian's only other multiple hitter, going two-for-four with a double. Clarkdale's Chance McDonald also had a double for the Spikes.
“We started off a little slow this season,” Franklin said. “We don't really have a lot of pitchers, but we are doing well with what we have.”