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Thursday, Sep. 18, 2014

DeWitt, Bulldogs pummel Notre Dame

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

(Photo)
Sikeston's Blake DeWitt picked up the win.
CAPE GIRARDEAU - The Sikeston Bulldogs baseball team posted its most impressive victory of the year with a dominating 12-0 win against Notre Dame on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs pounded out 17 hits and limited Notre Dame to just four base runners total.

"I think this is the best game we've played all year," said Sikeston head coach Kevin Self. "We had up and down the lineup hitting, good defense, good pitching -- plus we did it on the road against a quality opponent."

The game, however, won't count towards conference records since the first scheduled game at Sikeston was rained out. The two are scheduled to make up the conference game next Wednesday at 4 p.m. at VFW Stadium.

Notre Dame, which entered the game with just one loss, had no answer for Sikeston hurler Blake DeWitt, who threw all seven innings. He allowed just two hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.

He faced just four batters over the minimum.

DeWitt also helped his own cause, going 3-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored, including a triple.

"I was already impressed with DeWitt as a hitter, but today he showed that he can pitch," said Notre Dame head coach Jeff Graviett, whose team falls to 9-2. "We've been averaging 10 runs per game and for DeWitt to limit us to two hits is pretty impressive. With him, (Lance) Rhodes, and when they get (Chris) Cota back, that will give them three solid pitchers. Plus they hit the ball so well. They're as good as anybody we'll play this year."

The Bulldogs (11-2) scored in every inning except the fifth, and even then they had the bases loaded with no outs. Sikeston struck out just once in the game. On Monday against Chaffee, they had zero strikeouts.

"That's one way I can tell that we're hitting up and down the lineup, when we score every inning like that," said Self. "When you don't strike out, that's a big difference. If you make teams field it in high school baseball, you never know what can happen."

What did happen was a rash of Notre Dame miscues which led to an early lead for Sikeston.

Adam Garrett led off the game with a hit that took a crazy hop over the right fielder's head, giving him a double. It was an ominous sign of things to come for Notre Dame.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the second, Notre Dame had a chance to get out of the inning with two outs, but DeWitt's sharp grounder wasn't handled by shortstop Lee Essner, scoring two runs.

Sikeston manufactured a run in the top of the third to lead 4-0 and added two more unearned runs in the fourth inning to lead 6-0.

"We talked to the kids before the game about what happened when they played Chaffee (on Monday)," said Graviett. "When Chaffee gave them extra outs they smelled blood and took advantage. We knew we couldn't let the same thing happen. They're going to score runs on top of what you give them."

Sikeston blew the game open with a three-run sixth inning. DeWitt led off with a triple to left centerfield and scored off Jacob Priday's double.

Cleanup hitter Jamie Puckett followed that up with a two-run homer over the left field fence to make it 9-0.

The Bulldogs plated three more runs in the top of the seventh, highlighted by Priday's two-run triple over the centerfielder's head.

Sikeston's first four batters accounted for 11 of the team's 17 hits and nine of the team's 12 runs.

Priday was 3-5 with four RBIs and two runs. Puckett went 3-4 with three RBIs and two runs. Garrett went 2-4 with two runs. Cota and Travis Deere also had two hits each.

"Everyone knew Sikeston was going to be tough at the beginning of the year," said Graviett. "They struggled early but they've got it turned around. They're as good as publicized."

Jeff Brosey was saddled with the loss, pitching five innings and allowing eight runs (four earned) off 13 hits with two walks and a strikeout.

Scott Wittenborn pitched two innings of relief, allowing four runs off four hits.

DeWitt's nine strikeouts and zero walks were season bests, along with shutting down one of the area's best teams.

"He plays much older than a sophomore," said Self. "That's the most impressive thing about him, along with his abilities. What I like about him is he gets it and throws it. He doesn't take a lot of time. Our fielders are always ready to go because they don't have to worry about waiting and waiting for the next pitch. And he doesn't just throw, he pitches. He knows what to throw in different situations."

Sikeston will host Poplar Bluff on Thursday at 4 p.m. in a non-conference game. Notre Dame still leads the conference with a 6-1 record. Sikeston is 3-2 in league play.

The Sikeston JV team improved to 2-3 on the season with a 13-3, five-inning win against Notre Dame. Cullen DeHart picked up the win, throwing all five innings and allowing three runs off four hits with five strikeouts and a walk.

Hitters for Sikeston were Richard Landers (3-4, 2B, 3B, 2 runs), Brad Deere (2-3, 2B, 3 runs), DeHart (2B), Eric Chappell (3-4) and John Robert Bizzell (2-3, 2 runs).