First-year 'Fish hitter maintaining even keel through fast start, recent slump

Cape Catfish hitter Alex Kowalski readies for a pitch during a game against Illinois Valley on Saturday at Capaha Field.
Tony Capobianco ~

On Friday in a game against REX Baseball in Terre Haute, Ind., Cape Catfish hitter Alex Kowalski endured his fourth 0-for game of the past five outings.

“Baseball is a game of ups and downs,” Kowalski said recently. “You can’t let the down games get to you. Even the big guys go through slumps. They happen.”

Maintaining that even keel has been critical to Kowalski’s approach in his first summer season in Cape Girardeau, because he has been sweltering hot (literally and at the plate), with a rare stretch of coolness offensively.

Despite his not registering a hit against REX Baseball, Kowalski drew a walk and scored a run in helping Cape register a methodical 5-1 road win.

“I try not to let the good things get to my mind,” Kowalski continued, “and I try not to let the bad things get to my mind.

“I just do my thing.”

The Virginia Beach native wrapped up his sophomore season at NCAA Division II Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee and burst onto the scene with the Catfish in an explosive manner.

In 9 of his initial 10 appearances with Cape, he got at least one hit, and had four multi-hit games, as his average now stands at .286.

Kowalski leads the team in games played (17) and triples (four) and has manned the left field position defensively.

“I like his adjustments and his approach,” first-year Cape assistant coach Nolan Davenport said of Kowalski’s demeanor at the plate. “He tends to be late sometimes on the first pitch fastball, but still, with two strikes, he is our best two-strike hitter.

“That is why I love him. I love the attitude that he brings to the ballpark every day.”

In the win, Corbin Mallott paced Cape (6-9) with a couple of hits, one RBI, and one walk while Carson McCaleb had two hits, including a double, and a run scored.

Former Jackson High standout Henley Parker had a two-RBI double while his former Indian teammate Lane Crowden belted out a triple.

Southeast Missouri State player Brooks Kettering had a walk in the win while Crowden (one hit, one RBI, one run scored, two walks), former Cooter High standout Hayden Nazerenus (one run, one walk), Easton Moore (one hit), and former Jackson High player Steven Schneider (one run) also contributed.

Kowalski and McCaleb added stolen bases.

Owen Clark was very strong in his start on the mound, as he worked five innings and allowed three hits, and no runs, walked just one batter, and struck out seven.

Three Catfish relievers worked the final four innings and allowed just two hits and one run while walking none and striking out seven.

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