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Junior Legion strikes out at Cape tourney

Monday, June 24, 2002

CAPE GIRARDEAU -- After beating Jackson in extra-innings on Friday, Sikeston's bats went ice cold in the Cape Junior Legion Tournament. In three games over the weekend, Unit 114 struck out 29 times in three losses.

Sikeston lost to Paducah 4-2 and Festus 8-3 on Saturday, then 6-4 to Imperial on Sunday.

"We didn't hit very well," said Sikeston coach Jeff Limbaugh. "We've got to start putting the ball in play and cutting down on our swing."

One big inning doomed Unit 114 in each of the losses. In Saturday's first game, Sikeston saw a 1-0 lead disappear as Paducah scored four runs in the fourth inning to pull out the 4-2 victory. Sikeston had just two hits in the game from Robbie Landers and Ben Pyles, striking out 12 times as a team.

In Saturday's second game, Festus scored six runs in the first inning of the 8-3 victory. Unit 114 saw five hits from J.R. Bizzell, Andy Gantner, Josh Miller, Chris Nance and Eric Chappell.

Against Imperial in Sunday's third place game, Sikeston allowed five runs in the seventh inning of a 6-4 loss.

"We can play pretty good ball when we play defense," said Limbaugh. "But here lately, we seem to be giving away one big inning. When we can stay away from that, we're a lot better team."

Josh Miller started Sunday's game and threw well. In five innings of work, he allowed one run on four hits, two walks and had two strikeouts.

Unit 114 led 2-1 when Miller was pulled. Landers, Jordan Kimball and Pyles all came on in relief but none were able to close the floodgates as Imperial rallied to victory.

At the plate, Landers was 3-for-4 and Ross Merideth was 2-for-3. Cullen DeHart, Pyles, Kimball and Bizzell also had hits.

Imperial's Gary Roeder got the win. John Burroughs paced the team at the plate, batting 2-for-4. Sikeston will host Poplar Bluff on Tuesday in a 6 p.m. district game.