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Former Jackson pitching standout John-Paul Sauer makes Cape Catfish debut

Recent Jackson graduate John-Paul Sauer started his first game on the mound for the Cape Catfish back on June 7 at Capaha Field. Photo by Mia Friese

In his transition from high school baseball to college baseball, John-Paul Sauer decided to use the summer Prospect League games as a stepping stone. Jackson baseball’s former ace at the mound pitched his first Prospect League game on the first Friday of June.

The star pitcher will continue his athletic and academic career at Tulane this fall. Sauer hopes to gain knowledge over the summer before his transition to Division-I baseball.

“It’s kind of like finding a new identity in not being able to strike out everyone, but having a great infield to be ready for those hits,” Sauer said.

John-Paul threw six innings in the loss by the Cape Catfish (7-10), striking out four batters and only allowing three hits. Sauer was relieved by another former Indian, Cameron Marchi, who pitched one inning for the Catfish, allowing one run.

Marchi played junior college baseball at Saint Charles Community College after high school and has continued his career at Southeast Missouri State.

The Catfish lost in a nailbiter as the score was tied at three runs until the ninth inning. Their opponents the Rex baseball team scored on an error by one of the infielders from the Catfish.

Center fielder Corbin Malott led Cape behind the plate when he scored in the first inning off his teammate’s sacrifice fly. He then singled in the fifth inning to put Cape ahead with a score of 1-2.

Several of the members of the Catfish lineup are past members of the Jackson baseball program, including Henley Parker. He played second base for the Catfish in the same game and currently attends Jefferson Community College.

Alongside Parker, Sauer, and Marchi, there are four other former Indians on the Catfish roster. Infielder Lane Crowden, who plays at Southern Indiana, is a veteran player as he has already played four years of collegiate baseball.

Quinton Borders returned to the Catfish after playing his first season of prospect league right out of high school last summer. From the same graduating class at Jackson, Steven Schneider made his debut at Capaha Field this year. During the spring, Borders college baseball at Crowder Community College, while Schneider plays at Maryville.

“It’s like all these guys I created memories with in high school, I get to do the same thing again,” Sauer said. “To be able to play with them past [Jackson] is an honor.”

Prospect League teams have lots of different players contributing aspects of the game from all different levels of collegiate baseball, which is definitely a big step up from high school baseball. The newcomer was welcomed with a rude awakening as the opposing team’s leadoff batter homered off his very first pitch of the night.

Not only are there various levels of baseball that players are exposed to, but also various mindsets. Sauer went on to say, “I’m an 18-year-old and I’m playing with 22, 23, 24-year-olds and it’s crazy to me, the knowledge that they have. The veteran leadership that I see is everyone bringing something to the table to make our team complete.”

There are two local veterans from Notre Dame that have returned for another season of Catfish baseball. Cole Lemons of Jefferson College and Kam Dohogne of Columbia College both played last season at Capaha and are hopeful to have another great year.

Sauer will have lots of time to grow as a player due to the Catfish’s jam-packed summer schedule, playing 27 total games in the month of June alone. The Catfish are set to host the Burlington Bees on June 25th at 6:35.

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