(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON - The Sikeston Bulldogs baseball team advanced to the semifinals of the SEMO Conference Tournament with a 13-0 whitewash of the Kennett Indians on Friday afternoon at VFW Stadium.
Sikeston put the game away early with nine runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Bulldogs only had three hits in the inning, but took advantage of two Kennett errors and poor control by Indian starter Payte Harris.
Harris hit two batters in the first and three Sikeston runs scored on wild pitches.
"I don't think we had a hard hit ball all day," said Sikeston head coach Kevin Self. "Their starter had some problems finding the plate and there wasn't a lot of pitches to swing at. They also kicked a few that extended the inning."
Dustin Barker, Chase Ferrell and Droddy had RBI singles for the Bulldogs in the first. Seth Baker drove in a run on a fielder's choice and Josh Jackson drove in the ninth and final run of the inning for Sikeston on a sacrifice fly to deep left field.
"I can safely say that our hardest hit ball of the game was the sacrifice fly by Jackson," said Self. "The guys did a good job of running the bases properly. We got three or four runs off pass balls with good, aggressive base running."
The Bulldogs put three more runs on the board in the second inning. Jerod Scott scored the first run off a wild pitch. Cody Anderson hit a fly ball to left field that scored Austin Williams and Ferrell scored the final run of the second on another Indian wild pitch.
Sikeston starter Garrett Limbaugh was solid through five innings allowing only three hits and only one Kennett runner reached second base the entire contest.
"Garrett did a good job of throwing strikes," said Self. "Our defense turned a big double play in the first and didn't allow them to get anything going. Then we turned around and had a big inning. I believe is vital in tournament games to score first and our defense allowed us to do that."
With a big lead, Sikeston got the opportunity to play many of their substitutes early in the contest. Stan Ivie scored a run on groundout by Barker in the third inning. The Bulldogs led 13-0 after three and the mercy rule was implemented after the Indians failed to score in their half of the fifth inning.
"It is nice to get some of the kids into the game that practice hard all week," said Self. "Our subs can play. It is not that big of a let down when they come in."
Jimmie Clifton, Billy Fender and Trey Bazzell had the three singles for Kennett (6-9).
Sikeston (13-5) faced Dexter (13-3) in a semifinal matchup on Saturday at Cape Central. Results will be in Monday's edition.
Sikeston 13, Kennett 0
|Kennett||000 00 -||0 3 3 Sikeston||931 0x -||13 5 0 WP - Garrett Limbaugh LP - Payte Harris. 2B - Austin Williams (S). Records - Sikeston 13-5, Kennett 6-9.|