(photo by Derek James, Staff)
CAPE GIRARDEAU - Sikeston Senior Legion Post 114 has had some wild and long baseball games this summer, but none were more wacky than the 12-inning game at Capaha Field on Wednesday night.
In a game where Sikeston was one strike away from winning in the bottom of the ninth, Cape Ford & Sons rallied for five runs to tie the game. They eventually won 10-9 in the 12th on a walk-off home run by Dustin Tatum.
It capped not only an amazing comeback, but one of the craziest games this year.
In the extra innings, both teams had runners called out for being illegal substitutions.
And making things even tougher, Sikeston was playing its second game of the day after defeating Jackson 14-4 in eight innings in a makeup game.
"Our kids had a long day playing over at Jackson," said Sikeston head coach Charlie Dye. "This game goes 12 innings and we kept battling but we came up a little bit short. Between this game and the Dunklin County game we kind of seem to be snake-bit late in ballgames. But the kids will bounce back and be fine."
Sikeston (17-7, 9-3) was nursing a seemingly comfortable 8-3 lead in the ninth inning, but relief pitcher Mark Adam Wade walked the first two batters of the inning, prompting Dye to bring in Lance Rhodes to close.
Rhodes got the first two batters out, but Aaron Dohogne put a two-strike infield single down the left side to load the bases.
It was the break that Ford & Sons needed.
Tyler Schlosser plated two runs with a single to make it 8-5. After Seth Hudson walked to load the bases again, Tatum cleared the bases with a double into the left field corner to tie the score at 8-8.
"The whole key was the infield hit they had with two outs to load the bases," said Dye. "He nubs one down there in no-man's land. Other than that you have to give them credit for hitting the ball and putting the runs up to tie it."
Sikeston took a 9-8 lead in the top of the 10th when Adam Garrett scored on Drew Lawrence's sacrifice fly.
Ford & Sons (19-14, 8-3) tied the game in the bottom of the 10th on Josh Ford's two-out solo homer just inside the right field foul pole.
It could've been a game-winning homer but Dustin Klipfel, who walked to lead off the inning, was ruled out since he batted in the designated hitter's spot. Ford & Sons lost its designated hitter earlier in the game when one of its pitchers remained in the game but changed positions.
Sikeston appeared to retake the lead in the top of the 11th when Wade scored on a Rhodes sacrifice fly. But Wade, who wears No. 7, was ruled out when it was brought to the umpire's attention that Sikeston's lineup card had him listed as No. 9.
So the run was taken off the scoreboard and it was the third out of the inning.
"That was just a mistake on my part," admitted Dye.
Ford & Sons clinched the win on Tatum's leadoff homer which cleared the right centerfield fence in the bottom of the 12th.
Adam Garrett took the loss for Post 114 after one-plus innings of work.
Jake Welch, who was seeing his first action after being brought up from the Cape Junior Legion team, picked up the win, throwing 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
Sikeston starter Blake DeWitt got the no-decision after pitching a good game for eight innings. He allowed three runs off seven hits, striking out eight and walking none.
"That's just Blake," said Dye. "He threw the ball really well. He threw about 110-115 pitches which is the longest stint for him this summer. He really threw the ball exceptionally well tonight -- it's just a shame we couldn't get a win for him."
Cape's pitchers walked 11 Sikeston batters, but they limited Post 114 to just eight hits.
Trailing 1-0, Sikeston plated five runs in the fourth inning highlighted by a Rhodes two-run single. Cape pitchers Mark Wittenborn and Jeff Brosey combined to walk six batters in the inning.
Cape closed the gap to 5-3 in the seventh when DeWitt balked in a run and another run scored on a Dohogne single. Sikeston added three more runs in the top of the ninth. Jacob Priday and Nathan Eaves each had run scoring singles and Brad Deere added a sacrifice fly to lead 8-3.
Ford & Sons put together its last minute rally in the bottom half of the inning.
Sikeston's Rhodes and Priday each had two hits. Garrett scored three runs.
Cape's Josh Ford had three hits. Tatum had two hits and four RBIs. Dohogne also had two hits.
Lost in all the dramatics was the fact that the game had huge ramifications from a district standpoint.
The loss puts Post 114 into a tie in the loss column with Ford & Sons with three each. Ford & Sons still has a district game with Jackson on Friday.
Charleston has already forfeited tonight's makeup game with Sikeston, giving Post 114 a final district record of 9-3.
The district tournament will start next week at Sikeston's VFW Stadium.
JACKSON - Earlier in the day, Sikeston defeated Jackson Senior Legion 14-4 in eight innings in a makeup game.
Sikeston's Jake Kimball picked up the win in five innings of work. Scotty Keenan threw three scoreless innings in relief.
Hitters for Sikeston were Adam Garrett (3-4, 2B, 3B, 3 RBIs, 2 runs), Lawrence (run), Nathan Eaves (1-1, 2B, RBI), Blake DeWitt (1-4, 2B, 2 runs, RBI), Jacob Priday (2-4, 4 RBIs, 2 runs), Lance Rhodes (1-2, 2B, 3 runs), Adam Miller (1-2, run), Keenan (1-2, RBI, run), Andrew Lambert (2-4) and Mark Adam Wade (run).
SENATH - After being defeated by Dunklin County 20-4 earlier this year, Sikeston almost pulled off the upset of the area's top team, falling 8-7.
Adam Garrett took the loss after one inning of work.
Lance Rhodes had a big day at the plate, going 4-4 with a home run, a double and three RBIs.
Scotty Keenan also had a good day, going 2-4 with a home run and a double.
Others were Garrett (1-4, 2B), Drew Lawrence (1-3, run), Jacob Priday (1-4, 2 RBIs, run), Mark Adam Wade (run) and Blake DeWitt (run).