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Sikeston routs Dexter, 13-2

Tuesday, April 9, 2002

(Photo)
Sikeston's Blake DeWitt prepares to slide into home plate as Dexter catcher Brandon Miller tries to hold the ball
Bulldogs post fourth straight win of the season

SIKESTON - The Sikeston Bulldogs baseball team posted its second consecutive big win on Monday afternoon with a 13-2, five-inning win against the Dexter Bearcats at VFW Stadium.

It's the Bulldogs' second win in a row by 10-run rule after last week's 12-0 win over Poplar Bluff.

Sikeston (4-1, 2-1 in SEMO Conference) will play at Kennett tomorrow at 4 p.m.

On Monday, the Bearcats didn't help themselves much, committing four errors with six walks, a hit batsman, a balk and three wild pitches.

"You just can't give a good team like Sikeston that many outs in an inning," said Dexter head coach Brian Becker. "They're too good a team to give four and five outs. It seems like every time there was a clutch situation they got a big hit."

The Bulldogs combined for 11 runs in the second and third innings to blow the game open after trailing 2-1 in the first inning.

"We played pretty well," said Sikeston head coach Kevin Self. "We hit the ball hard and took advantage of their miscues. We scored on every passed ball and we were ready to go. Right now we just need games. We'll continue to get better as long as we continue to play."

Sikeston, playing as the away team because the game was moved from Dexter's rain-soaked field, scored a run in the top of the first when Blake DeWitt tripled and scored off Jamie Puckett's sacrifice fly.

The Bearcats answered with two runs in the bottom of the first when Eric Bowling doubled in Willie Dooley and Cody Boyer.

The lead was short-lived as the Bulldogs came back with five runs in the top of the second. DeWitt provided a two-run double to make it 6-2. Other than that, two players scored off wild pitches and another scored on a balk.

"Good teams will take advantage of what the other team doesn't do well," said Self. "If they make and error, if the pitcher doesn't throw strikes, or the catcher doesn't block balls, you have to take advantage and that gives you a better opportunity to win. And we did that today."

Sikeston got six more runs in the third inning. DeWitt and Jacob Priday each had two-run singles.

The Bearcats, after the first inning, never could get much going. They were able to load the bases with two outs in the third inning but pitcher Lance Rhodes got out of the jam with a ground out. The Bulldogs turned a double play earlier in the inning.

"We loaded the bases up in the third and never could get a clutch hit to score any more runs to try to cut the deficit down," said Becker. "That's just something we need to work on. Their pitcher did a good job of working the ball down and using his defense."

Rhodes picked up the win, going all five innings and allowing two runs off six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

"Lance got in trouble a few times with walks but other than that I thought he threw the ball well," said Self. "Once we got the lead he threw extremely well. He stuck it in there and made them hit it."

Bowling took the loss, going 2 1/3 innings and allowing nine runs (seven earned) off four hits and four walks.

Geoff Mouser pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief, allowing four runs (one earned) off four hits and two walks.

Dooley and Boyer each had two hits to lead the Bearcats.

DeWitt went 3-4 with four RBIs and two runs to lead the Bulldogs. Drew Lawrence led the Bulldogs with three runs scored.

It's the fourth straight year that the Bulldogs have run-ruled the Bearcats, but it was a far cry from last year's 22-0 demolition.

"There's no doubt that Dexter is a good club," said Self. "They swing the bats well and they hit the ball hard. I'm impressed with what Coach Becker is doing and they're going to continue to get better."

Dexter, which has already defeated Notre Dame this year, falls to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the SEMO Conference.

They will host Twin Rivers on Wednesday at 4:15 p.m.