Braden Durham is one of three catchers on the Paducah Chiefs roster this summer.

So, it might be a challenge to find a way to make an impact as the third on manager Joe Hall's de facto depth chart, behind John Michael Russ and McCracken alum James Michael Dodd.

Still, Durham has made his mark.

"Durham's a great guy," Chiefs right-hander Mitch Turner said. "He might not think he plays a key role for us, getting guys ready (in the bullpen) and stuff like that, but he plays a key role. He's always there. He's always ready to get somebody warm. He makes the game move a lot more smoothly than if we didn't have him."

Durham, the youngest of the Chiefs' trio of backstops, said there was a bit of a change after being a starter in high school.

"It's definitely been an adjustment," said Durham, who grew up a Detroit Tigers fan wanting to be like Hall of Fame catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez.

"I was a four-year starter in high school. I live in the bullpen. I take tips from the guys. Especially from Russ. He teaches me little things. Tips and tricks. I go to the bullpen (and) warm up the pitchers, and really kind of hone those in."

A native of Toledo, Ohio, Durham played four seasons at Toledo St. Francis De Sales -- the rival school of a previous Chief, second baseman Keyaunte Jones, who played at St. John's Jesuit.

But, the two are connected in another way, having been encouraged by Hall to spend the summer in Paducah.

"I've known (Hall) since I was 11 years old," said Durham, now 18, who is signed to play at Morehead State this coming spring.

"He was my hitting instructor and kind of a mentor for me for a while. He suggested that this would be a lot better than travel ball, coming out of high school."

He plans to study criminal justice at Morehead.

"I want to do something detective-wise, or possibly SWAT," Durham said. "That's kind of the goal for me."


Paducah 200 016 002 11 10 0

Muhlenberg Co. 200 000 000 2 7 1

Bibb, Campbell (6), Mork (8) and Russ, Durham (6); King, Williams (6) and Marks.

WP--Bibb. LP--King.

2B: P-Durham, Pigg, Bloomer; MC-Puckett. 3B: P-Campbell. HR: P-Bloomer (1 on in 1st). Top hitters: P-Bloomer 2-5 (5 RBI), Durham 2-2 (RBI), Pigg 2-4; MC-Puckett 3-4, Marks 2-4. Records: Paducah 15-13, Muhlenberg County 9-20.

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