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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sikeston races past red-hot Jackson

Friday, April 16, 2004

JACKSON - The Sikeston Bulldogs took full command in the SEMO Conference on Thursday with a convincing 10-1 victory against red-hot Jackson at windy Legion Park.

The Bulldogs (13-0), are now 6-0 in the conference which assures them of the top seed in the upcoming SEMO Conference Tournament.

Bulldog hurler Blake DeWitt picked up win, allowing one unearned run off six hits while striking out six.

It's his 23rd straight win in his career, breaking the state record for most consecutive wins according to the 2003-2004 MSHSAA Records Book.

DeWitt was also stellar at the plate, belting his fifth home run in seven days and narrowly missing another by a few feet that went foul.

He went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, including a double off the centerfield fence.

"What can you say with the way (Blake) hit the ball today?" said Sikeston head coach Kevin Self. "Everything he did was gold today. This was Blake's day. He was on."

The Bulldogs were Jackson's third straight high-profile matchup of the week, having previously knocked off No. 1 ranked North County on Monday and Notre Dame on Tuesday.

But Sikeston left little doubt there would be an upset on Thursday.

"You say an upset, but I was pretty confident with us going in actually," said first year Jackson coach Rex Crosnoe. "I knew Sikeston's got an outstanding team. But we had been playing well up until today."

Jackson (8-3, 2-2 SEMO) runners were on base in the first and second inning but they couldn't capitalize.

"I think them not scoring in the first probably gave us a little momentum because they had a chance to score and could've taken the lead early," said Self. "It could've been a different ballgame."

Instead, Sikeston jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a two-out, three-run homer by DeWitt straight into a fierce wind blowing in from right field.

Prior to DeWitt's home run, Lance Rhodes hit into a fielder's choice to make it first and third with two outs. Self said a play by that most fans wouldn't notice helped set up the home run.

"I thought the biggest part of the game was first and third with Brad Deere at third base does a great job running the bases," said Self. "A one-hopper to the third baseman -- that's an automatic double play ball and gets them out of the inning, but instead Brad comes down the line and freezes him for just a second, and all they got was one. If they turn two, then Blake doesn't get the three-run homer."

The Indians scored their lone run in the bottom of the third on a fielder's choice RBI by Trevor Thompson, but the Bulldogs turned a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the inning without further damage.

Sikeston increased the lead to 4-1 when Nathan Eaves tripled and scored on a Richard Landers single.

The Bulldogs added three more runs in the fifth. DeWitt doubled off the centerfield fence to bring home a run.

Landers then added a two-run single up the middle to extend the lead to 7-1.

Rhodes had an RBI single in the sixth. Ross Merideth added a sacrifice fly RBI in the seventh.

"We had some opportunities early," said Crosnoe. "We had a couple bad pitches that kind of cost us. They jumped on them like good teams do and good hitters do. They kind of blew it open on us."

The Bulldogs had a nearly flawless offensive game as far as execution, as they laid down a season-high five successful sacrifice bunts.

"I thought this was the best game we had execution-wise offensively," said Self. "We got every single bunt down and when we moved them over, somebody drove them home. Yesterday at Kennett we looked like we were dragging a little bit, but the magnitude of this game pumped us up some. Having to come up here and knowing they had won some big games, fired up our kids."

Jackson's Brandon Gendron took the loss, throwing four innings and allowing four runs off five hits. He struck out four and walked one.

Tyler Profilet led the Indians with three hits.

Landers and Scotty Keenan each had two hits. Landers added three RBIs and Keenan had two runs scored. Deere, Eaves and Jacob Priday each had two runs scored.

The win completes a brutal stretch for Sikeston in which the Bulldogs played eight games in seven days, winning all of them.

"That's a lot of games," said Self. "But we were able to win them all. We're happy, we're just going to take a little break because we don't play until next Friday."

Sikeston will host Farmington next Friday at 4 p.m. at VFW Stadium.

The Sikeston jayvee team improved to 3-3 on the season with a 16-4, six-inning victory against Jackson.

Sikeston's Joe Lincoln was the winning pitcher, throwing five innings and allowing six walks with two strikeouts.

Josh Jackson struck out two in one inning of work.

Lincoln went 1-4 with three runs scored. Jackson was 3-4 with a home run. Others were Colt Pruitt (2-3, 3 runs), Tyler Baker (1-5), Cody Black (2-5), Jared Scott (3-3), Austin Williams (1-2), Andrew Box (1-3) and Zach Brooks (2-5).

Sikeston will play in the Notre Dame Junior Varsity Tournament on April 24.