Top-seeded Sikeston held off a feisty eighth-seeded Fredericktown team 5-3. The Bulldogs will play fourth-seeded Kennett today at 2:30 p.m. The Indians squeaked by fifth-seeded New Madrid County Central 5-4.
In other first round games, third-seeded Notre Dame defeated No. 6 Doniphan 11-1 and No. 2 Dexter was upset by No. 7 Perryville 8-1.
While Sikeston coach Kevin Self would like to see his offense perform more consistently, he was still happen just to win and move on to the next round.
"Fredericktown played well and I didn't think we played too bad," said Self. "We got hits when we needed to drive in runs. We got sacrifice flies and did a lot of things right. Man they just played our tails off. The first round of the district is so, so important. Because that's when all the scares happen. Usually when you get a game under your belt, then you start to roll. Hopefully we can get going after this game."
But the Bulldogs quickly tied it up with an run-scoring single by Ross Merideth to bring in Richard Landers.
The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second. Jerod Scott led off with a single and eventually came around to score on a pop up by Landers that the third baseman lost in the sun.
"We have some inexperience with two freshmen and two sophomores," said Fredericktown coach Scott Sikes. "I'm not trying to make excuses, but those kids have come a long way. We felt like we gave them all they wanted. We just had the one mistake where we lost the ball in the sun -- that was a tough play and they took advantage of it."
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 3-1 when Merideth scored on Matt Limbaugh's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third.
Fredericktown, however, didn't quit. They tied it back up at 3-3 in the top of the fourth. Calvin Gipson scored on a throwing error and Matt Tinnin's sac-fly brought in Dustin Bess.
Sikeston took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth at 4-3. J.R. Bizzell led off with a double and eventually came around to score on a groundout by Cullen DeHart.
The Bulldogs tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth. Josh Jackson doubled and, after a Scott single, scored on Eric Chappell's sac-fly.
"Everybody in our district is pretty even and I think this game shows it," said Self. "When one and eight play a 5-3 game, then they're all going to be pretty good games. We're just happy to win and move on to tomorrow."
Bizzell was 2-4 with a run, Jackson was 2-3 with a run and Scott was 2-3 with a run.
Landers, Tyler Baker and Merideth each had one hit.
Bryce Wibbenmeyer was the winning pitcher as he threw five-plus innings. He allowed three runs (one earned) off seven hits, two walks and a hit batter. He struck out two.
DeHart threw the final two innings in relief, allowing one hit and striking out one.
Bess took the loss for the Blackcats.
Stevens, Fall and Gipson each had two hits for the Blackcats (6-18).
NMCC (6-10) raced out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first highlighted by Dylan Harris' two-run home run.
But Kennett got back in the game and tied things up in the fifth inning at 4-4.
Both teams were close to scoring runs over the next two innings but both had base-runners lost at third base.
Kennett (12-12) failed on a squeeze play while NMCC failed on a double-steal attempt.
Kennett was able to win the game in the bottom of the seventh on Jared Hughes' game-winning single.
With Jordan Kimball pitching in relief, Kennett put a runner on first and attempted a hit-and-run. Kimball got the batter to hit back to him but he threw the ball away trying to get the lead runner at second.
Both runners moved up to second and third on the error with one out. Hughes then lined an 0-1 pitch into the right centerfield gap to win the game.
"(Kimball is) an aggressive ballplayer -- it was a boom-boom play," said NMCC coach John Jones. "If he turns that and we turn two then he's a hero. I love to see that aggressive style. That's what our forte should be. If we turn two then we're out of the inning and we got the momentum back. He was just trying to make a play and it didn't work."
Kimball took the loss in one plus innings of work. He struck out two. Ryan Lawrence started and went five-plus innings, allowing six hits and four runs (three earned). He struck out two and walked three.
"We had our right guys up there with three and four," said Kennett coach Bart McAtee. "Jared got a good pitch to hit and he went with it. That's a tough pitcher over there in Kimball. Anytime you get any hits off that guy you're doing something. I was pleased with how we battled and came back and finally got break there and won."
NMCC was led in hitting by Kimball (1-3, 2B, run), Michael Morlan (1-4, 2B, run), Harris (1-4, HR, 2 RBI), Lawrence (1-3, RBI, run), Thomas Higgerson (1
-4), Colt Pruitt (1-1) and Trey Sullenger (1-3).
Kennett's Ryne Branum was the winning pitcher in relief, throwing three innings and allowing three hits, two walks and two strikeouts.
Ben Foster started and threw four innings, allowing four runs off four hits. He struck out seven and walked two.
Kennett was led in hitting by Foster (1-4, run), Chase Smith (1-2, 2B, 2 runs, RBI), Branum (1-4), Hughes (2-4, RBI), Josh Lancaster (1-3), Robert Lockett (1-2, run) and Shane Branum (RBI).
Notre Dame 11, Doniphan 1
Notre Dame's Aaron Jenkins went 3-for-3 with two doubles to lead the No. 3 Bulldogs to an 11-1, five-inning victory over sixth-seeded Doniphan.
Jacob Wengert added two hits for Notre Dame (16-7), and Blake Essner earned the win on the mound, striking out four and allowing two hits in five innings.
The Bulldogs will face No. 7 Perryville in the semifinal round today at 4:30 p.m.