(Photo by Lance Hanlin, Staff)
SIKESTON - The Sikeston Senior American Legion Post 114 baseball team won its sixth game in the last seven with a 14-4, seven inning victory against Fulton City (Ky.) on Thursday at VFW Stadium.
Sikeston rotated four pitchers in the game to combine for a five hitter. It's the second game in a row that Sikeston has won by the 10-run rule.
Plus, playing the non-district foe gave Sikeston head coach Charlie Dye a chance to get some reserves some playing time.
"Nice day -- nice day," said Dye. "We needed to get all of our pitchers a little bit of work with two district games coming up on the weekend. We were able to do that and get all the kids in. Some that hadn't got a lot of playing time got some extended time tonight and they all chipped in. We got out of tonight what we needed. The kids didn't look ahead and they just played the game."
Sikeston jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Scotty Keenan led off with a home run to right field off the light pole beyond the fence.
Richard Landers then singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Fulton City tied the game in the top of the third but Sikeston responded with five runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Post 72 (9-16) walked the first four batters of the inning which opened the floodgates.
Zach Fayette had a two-run single while Adam Miller plated a run with a single.
"We gave a lackluster effort," said Fulton City assistant coach Jim Ray. "It's uncharacteristic for us to walk that many. We had four or five of our main kids that weren't here tonight. We're from a rural area, so we've got a lot of kids that have to work in the summer. But the kids that were here tonight, they should've given a better effort, and they didn't. It's disappointing. Sikeston came out and hit the ball hard. They made the plays and we didn't."
Sikeston scored a run in the fourth on a single by Ben Stricklin.
Matt Smith bombed a two-run homer over the 390 mark in centerfield in the sixth.
Post 114 scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to enforce the mercy rule. Miller had another run-scoring single, Keenan added a run-scoring double and Josh Miller had a pinch hit single up the middle which plated the game-ending run.
Keenan, Smith and Adam Miller each had two hits and two RBIs for Post 114. Landers had two hits and three runs scored.
Dye said Keenan's lead-off homer fired up his team.
"It's always nice, that's does set the tone," said Dye. "Matt Smith had a huge night too. He had a double and the big home run after he was basically knocked down with a pitch. But it was up and down the lineup. It wasn't one or two, everybody's hitting."
Ben Pyles started for Post 114 and picked up the win. He threw three innings.
Bryce Wibbenmeyer, Josh Miller and Jake Kimball combined for the final four innings. The four pitchers combined to allow five hits with four runs, five strikeouts and 10 walks. Justin Baker took the loss for Fulton City.
"All of our pitchers I thought did a good job," said Dye. "They basically threw strikes and got what work in we needed."
Sikeston will host Poplar Bluff Saturday at 2 p.m. Post 114 will then travel to Dunklin County on Sunday at 2 p.m.