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Monday, Sep. 1, 2014

Sikeston, ND to meet in title game for third straight year

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

(Photo)
Sikeston's Matt Limbaugh congratulates Tyler Baker after hitting a home run.
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldogs reached the finals of the district tournament for the sixth straight year on Tuesday as they pounded fourth-

seeded Kennett in a Class 3, District 1 semifinal game at VFW Stadium, 9-1.

The Bulldogs, seeded first, will take on third-seeded Notre Dame at 4:30 p.m. today for the championship, marking the third straight year the two teams will play for the title.

Notre Dame nipped seventh-seeded Perryville 3-2 in Tuesday's other semifinal game.

Sikeston (19-5) took a couple innings to get going on Tuesday, but they broke a shutout in a big way in the bottom of the third inning.

(Photo)
Sikeston shortstop J.R. Bizzell throws to first base.
Senior lefty Cullen DeHart sent a hanging curve ball towering over the right field fence to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead.

Junior designated hitter Tyler Baker made it back-to-back home runs as he launched a solo shot over the left field fence to make it 3-0.

"I thought we swung the bats better once Cullen got a big hit and then Tyler got the big hit," said Sikeston coach Kevin Self. "Once that happened, we started swinging really well. Early on we had a hard time with that kid's breaking ball. We finally stopped chasing that pitch in the dirt and we started getting some better counts. Plus we started hitting the breaking ball pretty hard when he left it up."

It was more than enough for Bulldog hurler Ross Merideth, who went the entire seven innings to get the win. He allowed seven hits and walked one while striking out five.

"I thought he threw well, but he got a little tired and got a little fine in the latter innings -- but I thought he did what he had to do," said Self.

Sikeston took the momentum of the home runs and scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth and three more in the fifth to stake a 9-0 lead.

The Bulldogs were on the verge of pulling the 10-run rule a couple different times as they had runners in scoring position in the fifth and sixth innings.

But Kennett was able to get out of the jams and they added a single run in the top of the sixth on Cody Dawson's two-out single to bring in Chase Smith.

"I thought if we could keep them to three or four runs we had a shot of coming back like we did before," said Kennett coach Bart McAtee. "But once they got up 9-0 I knew it would be tough -- with the way they catch the ball, I mean they're not going to give you anything. Their pitcher's not walking people and with the defense they've got, you've got to earn your runs. We thought we could score three or four runs, but once they got up 9-0 we were in trouble."

Kennett (12-13) didn't help its cause either as they committed six errors in the game leading to six unearned runs.

"We just didn't play very well all around today," said McAtee. "We didn't hit the ball, we didn't catch the ball. I thought our pitching was okay, but we couldn't make the plays in the field. You can't do that against Sikeston. You give them more than three outs you're in trouble and that's what happened today.

"We let balls get by us in the outfield -- that doesn't normally happen to us. It did today and that's when it started to get out of hand."

In the fourth inning, DeHart had a run-scoring single and Merideth plated two runs with a single.

In the fifth inning, Matt Limbaugh led off with a single to centerfield. It got by Dawson and it rolled all the way to the 390 foot sign allowing Limbaugh motor all the way back to home plate.

Later in the inning, J.R. Bizzell singled and another error in the outfield allowed Eric Chappell to round third and score a run. Bizzell eventually scored on a balk to make it 9-0.

Kennett's Ryne Branum was saddled with the loss in 4 1/3 innings. He allowed seven hits, walked two and hit two batters.

Branum actually didn't allow a hit until the back-to-back home runs in the third inning.

"He hung a curve ball on the first one -- that was just a bad pitch and he hit it out," said McAtee. "But the second one that Baker hit -- he earned it because he went down and got a good pitch low and away and he drove that thing out."

Kennett was led on offense by Dawson and Ben Foster with two hits each. Chase Smith, Jared Hughes and Josh Lancaster also had hits.

Sikeston was led by DeHart, Merideth and Limbaugh with two hits each. Richard Landers and Baker each had a hit.

"We're just happy to be there," said Self. "We're going to give it our best shot and hopefully it's good enough. If it's not then we'll tip our hats to whoever beats us. I think we're ready to play."

Box Score

Kennett000 001 0--176
Sikeston003 330 x--990

WP -- Ross Merideth. LP -- Ryne Branum. Multiple hits -- Sikeston: Cullen DeHart (2-4), Merideth (2-4), Matt Limbaugh (2-4). Kennett: Ben Foster (2-4), Cody Dawson (2-3). HR -- Sikeston: DeHart (7), Tyler Baker (6). 2B -- Kennett: Jared Hughes, Dawson. Records -- Sikeston (19-5), Kennett (12-13).

Notre Dame held off Perryville for a 3-2 semifinal victory Tuesday in the Class 3, District 1 baseball tournament at Sikeston. The third-seeded Bulldogs (17-7) took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

Perryville, seeded seventh, tied the game with a run in the top half of the fifth, but Notre Dame went ahead for good with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

Jeremy Brinkmeyer improved to 9-0 on the mound with a seven-inning, two-

hit performance for Notre Dame.

Dane Balsmann led the Bulldogs at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and a triple. Blake Essner and Jacob Essner each added two hits. Shaun Roth suffered the loss for the Pirates.