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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Sikeston getting back to form

Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Sikeston's Blake DeWitt batted 2 for 3.
POPLAR BLUFF - Slowly but surely, the Sikeston Bulldogs baseball team seems to be getting back to the form that took the team to the Class 3A championship game last year.

After posting two wins in the Nettleton (Ark.) tourney last week, the Bulldogs came back on Tuesday and recorded their most impressive win of the year, whipping SEMO Conference rival Poplar Bluff 12-0 at Bobby Strenfel Field.

The game was stopped in the fifth inning by the 10-run mercy rule.

The Bulldogs scored two runs in the first inning and added eight more runs in the second to blow the game open. Poplar Bluff had only four players reach base during the game and they had just two hits.

Sikeston sophomore hurler Blake DeWitt threw all five innings, striking out five batters and walking none. He faced just three batters over the minimum.

"I didn't think (DeWitt) overpowered us," said Poplar Bluff head coach Tim Harmon. "It looked like it was a straight fastball, 'here it is, hit it.' And we didn't hit it. You've got to give him credit. He stuck it in there and stayed ahead of the hitters."

The Bulldogs also had their most productive offensive game, getting a season-high eight hits along with the 12 runs.

"We hope this will get us going," said Sikeston head coach Kevin Self. "We'll find out next week. Hopefully we can get outside and get some swings."

Sikeston's Adam Garrett led off the game with a triple to centerfield in which Jason Duckett misplayed. DeWitt followed that up with a bloop double to left field. He eventually scored on Jamie Puckett's ground-out RBI.

"It got ugly real quick right from the word go," said Harmon. "The leadoff man for Sikeston hit a hard shot -- the centerfielder had a beat on it I thought, but he misplayed it and it should've been an out."

The Bulldogs sent 12 men to the plate in the eight-run second inning. Poplar Bluff had three errors and gave up two more runs off wild pitches to help the Bulldogs' cause.

"We should've been out of the first inning without them scoring," said Harmon. "Instead we give them two, and then we come up the next inning and walk the first two guys and then we drop a ball in the outfield. It seemed like everybody on the field made a mistake after that. Today it was just contagious. You've got to bring your 'A' game when you play Sikeston and we didn't today."

The biggest hit of the second inning was Drew Lawrence's base-clearing triple. Lawrence finished the day 2-3 with three RBIs and a run scored.

"We earned some and we had some given to us," said Self. "It helps when (Garrett) leads off with a line drive over the centerfielder's head -- it kind of pumped us up a little bit. We had a couple that kind of dinked in but we hit a few balls hard too."

Garrett went 2-3 with three runs and an RBI. DeWitt helped his own cause by going 2-3 with three runs and an RBI.

Poplar Bluff's Matt Atteberry took the loss, going just 1 1/3 innings and allowing six runs (five earned) off four hits with three walks.

Chad Berry pitched 2/3 of an inning of relief and allowed four unearned runs off two hits. Adam Reynolds finished up the day by pitching three innings and allowing two unearned runs off two hits and two walks.

Poplar Bluff (2-3, 2-2 SEMO) plays at Kelly today in a make-up game at 4 p.m.

Sikeston (3-1, 1-1 SEMO) will play at Dexter on Monday at 4 p.m.