(Tim Jaynes, Staff)
The Cape Central Tigers got some revenge on Sikeston's baseball team on Wednesday, defeating the Bulldogs 4-2 at VFW Stadium.
Cape Central (7-7) endured a 15-2 nightmare at the hands of the Bulldogs earlier this month, but the Tigers' Jason Chavez kept Sikeston's red-hot bats in check this time.
Chavez went the distance in picking up the win, allowing just six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
"To limit Sikeston to two runs is quite an accomplishment for Jason and our ballclub," said Cape Central head coach Steve Williams. "They've been the best hitting team in Southeast Missouri as far as I'm concerned. They beat our brains in two weeks ago and they've been scoring double-digit runs every game it seems like. Jason did a great job today."
The loss is Sikeston's first of the season, who broke into the Class 3A state rankings this week at No. 7. Before Wednesday, the Bulldogs had scored 10 or more runs in seven of their 10 games this year.
The Bulldogs stranded eight baserunners in the game.
"We had some opportunities and we just didn't quite cash in today," said Sikeston head coach Kevin Self. "We hit some balls hard but we didn't get the big hits. (Chavez is) a good pitcher and he throws well. I thought we played well. They just got some bigger hits than we did."
Cape Central held a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh when Sikeston finally broke into the scoring column.
Freshman Blake DeWitt doubled in Chris Cota with two outs. Junior Jamie Puckett then plated DeWitt with a single to make it 4-2. Chavez regrouped to strikeout the final batter.
"The key with Jason is when he gets ahead and throws his pitches for strikes then he's fine," said Williams. "And that's what he did most of the day today. He gave up two runs in the last inning, but he did a great job."
Bulldog starter Cota didn't pitch poorly, but wasn't as sharp as he had been this year. He got behind several batters, but was bailed out with some stellar defense.
The Bulldogs turned three double plays in the game.
"Our defense is going to show up every single day and it's going to be ready to go," said Self. "We got Cota out of jams in the first and several other innings with double plays. Defensively, we're still playing really well."
Cota took the loss, allowing two runs off three hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. Bobby Landers threw the final 2 1/3, allowing two runs off four hits with two walks.
The Tigers got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning when Justin Welker walked and scored on a Dusty Barrows double. After taking third on a wild pitch, Barrows scored on Travis Wissman's ground out to make it 2-0.
The Tigers made it 3-0 in the top of the sixth when Welker led off with a triple, eventually scoring on a Barrows RBI-single.
Cape Central took a 4-0 lead in the top of the seventh when Zac Fidler's double brought home Mitch Craft.
"Our defense was good and we got a couple of timely hits," said Williams. "In high school baseball, if you do that then you've got a chance to win."
Barrows and Fidler each had two hits to lead the Tigers. DeWitt and Puckett led Sikeston with two hits each.
The game was well-played as neither team committed an error. The contest does not count on the conference standings, however. The bylaws state that only the first meeting between conference schools will count in the conference standings.
Sikeston remains in first place at 6-0 in the SEMO Conference but falls to 10-1 overall.
Cape Central will play another state-ranked 3A team when they travel to Festus on Friday night at 6:30 at West City Park.
Sikeston won't play again until Monday when they host Notre Dame at 4 p.m.
Following that game, both schools will finish the conference game that was stopped to darkness with the score tied 6-6 in the eighth inning.
"This will make us better," said Self. "I think this bunch is going to be the kind that will take this and go right back to work. They don't like this feeling and they'll be ready to play next time."
The Sikeston jayvee team avenged its only loss this season with a dramatic 4-3 win over Cape's JV team.
Sikeston (7-1) scored in the bottom of the seventh on Michael LaPlant's game-winning single that scored Tyler Nelson.
Lance Rhodes got the win, going all seven innings and allowing five hits and four walks with 10 strikeouts.
Sikeston was led on offense by Rhodes (2-4, run), Jacob Priday (1-4, HR, 2 RBIs), Scotty Keenan (1-4), Nathan Eaves (1-3), Adam Miller (1-3), Zach Fayette (2-3), LaPlant (3-4, RBI), Dustin Kelley (run) and Brad Deere (RBI-sac fly).