(photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
The win avenged two losses to Chaffee from last year in which the Red Devils kept the Bulldogs from winning the SEMO Conference Tournament and the regular season league title.
Sikeston (10-2, 3-2 SEMO) made sure early that the Red Devils wouldn't spoil any hopes of a league title this year.
After Chaffee led 1-0 in the top of the first inning, the Bulldogs scored one run apiece in the first and second inning and exploded with six runs in the third inning to lead 8-1.
The Bulldogs tacked on two runs in the fourth and one more in the sixth to end the game via 10-run rule.
Chaffee falls to 7-5 overall and 3-5 in the SEMO Conference.
"We've been up and down all season long," said Chaffee head coach Brian Horrell. "I figured it was going to be a roller coaster ride this year. Either we're up or we're down. Sometimes we're both in the middle of games."
On Monday, the Red Devils had defensive problems which led to the Bulldogs' big innings. Although Chaffee only committed two errors, they had several misplayed or misread flyballs that got lost in the sun.
"If we're having trouble with something like that then we've got to make adjustments in the pre-game," said Horrell. "You can't wait until the middle of an inning and decide you've got problems with this and that. You can't give anybody breaks in high school baseball, let alone a good quality team like Sikeston. They sought it out and they jumped right on us. When we made mistakes, they just pounded all over us."
Meanwhile, Chaffee's bats were silenced by the arm of Lance Rhodes, who threw all six innings, allowing just one run off two hits and two walks with eight strikeouts to get the win.
The Red Devils had just four base runners the entire game.
"Lance threw the ball really well," said Sikeston head coach Kevin Self. "He threw both pitches for strikes and he didn't start them off with a fastball every time -- he mixed it up some. That's the secret to pitching -- it's not how hard you throw, it's where you throw and can you mix both pitches for strikes. And he did that today."
Adam Garrett gave the Bulldogs the lead for good with an RBI-single that scored Travis Deere in the second inning.
Jacob Priday led off the bottom of the third inning with a rocket over the left field fence to lead 3-1.
That opened up the floodgates as Drew Lawrence, Nathan Eaves, Garrett and Blake DeWitt all followed up with run-scoring hits, knocking starter Andrew Horrell out of the game.
"After Jake hit that one out, it kind of loosened up the rest of them," said Self. "I thought we swung the bats at times really well. I knew we'd have to adjust to the Horrell kid. He didn't throw hard, but he threw a lot of junk, the knuckle ball, curve ball, he threw from a variety of arm angles and a variety of speeds. That usually gives us trouble. We had to see it once or twice through the lineup to get used to him."
Horrell took the loss, throwing 2 2/3 innings and allowing eight runs (seven earned) off eight hits with three walks.
"The Horrell kid -- I don't know what he's going to have to do to get some defense behind him," said Coach Horrell. "He came out and had a no-hitter against Cape Central into the fifth inning and we couldn't hold it for him. Today I thought he threw the ball extremely well in the first two or three innings. We just didn't make any plays behind him. I thought he deserved a lot better fate."
Brent Thomason pitched the remainder of the game, allowing three runs off two hits with five walks.
Sikeston had zero strikeouts in the game and zero errors in the game.
"Other than miscommunication between outfielders, I thought we played pretty well defensively," said Self. "We didn't have too many super-tough chances, other than a couple. But there a few tough plays in there that we handled nicely."
The Bulldogs were led by Lawrence, who went 2-2 with three RBIs and two runs with a pair of doubles.
Garrett went 2-3 with two RBIs and two runs. Eaves went 2-2 with two RBIs and a run.
Horrell also provided both of Chaffee's hits and he scored the team's lone run.
Zac Horman's sacrifice fly in the first inning was the only RBI.
"I think we throw too many at-bats away," said Horrell. "When we get down like this, I think we lose our focus a little bit, instead of cherishing each opportunity. If we take our bats more serious, you never know, you can get back into the game. We didn't put any pressure on Sikeston, but you've got to give credit to the Rhodes kid -- he threw the ball exceptionally well."
Chaffee will host Oak Ridge today at 4 p.m.
Sikeston will travel to take on SEMO Conference rival Notre Dame today at 4 p.m.
The game is not scheduled to count against conference records since the first meeting was rained out. It is planned on being made up next week.