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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Bulldog bats catch fire

Friday, May 6, 2005

Sikeston second baseman Bryce Wibbenmeyer receives the throw as Kelly's Steven Strobel attempts to steal.
SIKESTON -- For the past couple games the Sikeston Bulldogs bats have been relatively quiet.

But they broke out in a big way on Thursday at VFW Stadium as they pounded Kelly 19-0 in five innings in a SEMO Conference game.

The Class 3 No. 6 ranked Bulldogs (14-4, 6-1 SEMO) collected 21 hits in the game with 18 of those being singles.

After the teams played two scoreless innings, the Bulldogs exploded in the third and fourth innings for all 19 runs.

In the fourth inning alone, Sikeston sent 19 batters to the plate and scored 13 runs off 12 hits.

Sikeston's Cullen DeHart delivers a pitch.
The game helped offset the pain of Monday's 5-3 loss to Notre Dame in the SEMO Conference Tournament championship game.

"It's fun to watch when you hit it like that, but it's kind of hard for them to take," said Sikeston coach Kevin Self. "It's one of those games where we're not 20 runs better than them, but everything just seemed to fall our way. They've played a lot of close games, but this one kind of got away from them."

Kelly (7-8, 1-4 SEMO) actually didn't perform poorly.

The Hawks' two pitchers -- Russell Carroll and Danny Wilson -- combined to walk just three and the defense behind them committed three errors.

But the Bulldog batters just seemed to find every conceivable hole in Kelly's defense.

"You never want to come over and get embarrassed, but we wanted to give some of these guys some work today and let them throw a little bit," said Kelly coach Cory Johnson. "They haven't thrown in a week --

we're kind of saving our top guys this weekend for a tournament. But no excuses for that --

they just came out and hit the ball all over the field. It didn't matter who they put in there, we were leaving pitches over the plate for them to drive and they found the holes."

The game broke open in the bottom of the third when J.R. Bizzell popped a ball into right field, but the right fielder lost the ball in the sun. Instead of an out, Bizzell ended up on third with a triple.

"We gave them some extra opportunities, we let a couple flyballs drop," said Johnson. "Once that happens the floodgates open up. If you let a good team like Sikeston have second and third opportunities they're going to capitalize and boy did they."

The play seemed to inspire the rest of the Bulldog lineup. Josh Jackson singled Bizzell home to take a 1-0 lead. After a walk to Cullen DeHart, Tyler Baker smoked a two-run double to left centerfield.

Richard Landers then hit a fielder's choice-RBI.

Two batters later, Matt Limbaugh launched a two-run home run to right field, extending the lead to 6-0.

"I thought we came out a little flat, both teams for that matter," said Self. "I felt like we needed some kind of spark and finally after Josh hit the one down the line, everything just switched. We changed gears. Matt hit the long ball and then it's like, 'now we're ready to play.' Sometimes it takes one guy to give you a spark, and usually that guy is Bizzell. And it was this time. It took some luck, but after that, skill took over and we started whacking it."

Overshadowed by the offensive explosion was a shutout by DeHart. He threw all five innings and allowed just one hit. He struck out four and walked three.

Wilson had the Hawks' lone hit. Carroll was the losing pitcher in 3 1/3 innings of action.

Wilson finished up with 2/3 of an inning.

"He was trying to throw it in there and get some outs and we just kept hitting -- we just kept hitting it," said Self. "And some of these guys that come off the bench want to hit too, so that's why it kept going. Hitting is so contagious. If you get two or three guys to hit it hard, it's just amazing how many guys get better swings once a couple guys hit it hard."

Sikeston got multiple hits from Bizzell (3-3, 2 runs), Jackson (2-3, 2 runs, RBI), Landers (2-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs), Limbaugh (3-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs), Cody Black (2-3, run, RBI) and Eric Chappell (2-4, RBI, run).

DeHart, Ryan Dicus, Zach Brooks, Jerod Scott, Bryce Wibbenmeyer, Baker and Ross Merideth all had one hit apiece.

Sikeston will have a non-conference game today at undefeated Clearwater, which is ranked No. 1 in Class 2.