(Photo by Tim Jaynes, Staff)
It seems that they've figured it out.
The Bulldogs bats came alive for the third straight game on Wednesday as they blasted Cape Central 20-5 in five innings on a windy day in Cape Girardeau.
"We didn't put up much of a fight and they beat our brains in basically," said Cape Central head coach Steve Williams.
Sikeston (4-0, 3-0 SEMO Conference) led 6-0 after two innings before exploding for a 13-run third inning to blow the game wide open.
The Bulldogs sent 19 batters to the plate in the inning, including three plate appearances by sophomore left fielder Richard Landers.
"That just takes the air right out of your sails," said Sikeston head coach Kevin Self. "They're in the ballgame all the way until we get 13. A lot of different things compiled in that one inning. It's just one of those days where everything seemed to go our way."
Sikeston had seven hits in the inning, but the Tigers didn't help themselves as they walked five batters, hit two batters and committed three errors.
Sikeston's Jacob Priday blasted a three-run home run in the inning. He was 4-for-4 on the day with five RBIs and four runs scored.
Returning all-stater Blake DeWitt went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer in the second inning. He also had six RBIs and four runs scored.
"We made some poor pitches, we didn't hit our spots and good hitters make you pay," said Williams. "And that's what they did today."
In all, Sikeston collected 16 hits in the game. Last week, the Bulldogs scored 20 runs and pounded out 19 hits against Kelly.
But Self said Wednesday's performance was even more impressive because of the elements involved.
"The wind was blowing in and we just hit the crap out of it," said Self. "That's about all you can say. Under these conditions you don't score a lot of runs, but we just kept putting it on. We hit the ball harder today than we did against Kelly. Blake, Jake and Nathan (Eaves) and a couple others just hit it right on the screws."
Meanwhile, Sikeston hurler Lance Rhodes was solid. He threw all five innings and allowed five runs (four earned) off six hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
"It's sometimes hard to concentrate and pitch when you're up 19-1," said Self. "He sat in that dugout a long time during the third inning. But I thought he did a pretty good job under those conditions. It's just his second start. He's going to get better."
Sikeston jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. DeWitt and Priday each had run-scoring doubles while Eaves had an RBI-single.
Cape Central's Seth Hudson led off with a double in the bottom of the first, but Rhodes got out of the jam by striking out the next three batters.
The Bulldogs plated three more runs in the second inning on DeWitt's three-run shot over the left centerfield fence against a fierce cross-wind, making it 6-0.
The Tigers (3-1, 2-1 SEMO) appeared to have something going in the bottom of the second. Chris Daniel and Mitch Craft each reached on errors to start things off. After a groundout moved the runners up, Colin Schermann singled to right field.
Daniel scored, but Craft was gunned out at home plate by Eaves in right field.
It seemed to spark the Bulldogs and deflate the Tigers as Sikeston put the game away in the top of the third.
The Tigers got three runs back in the bottom of the third on a Chris Daniel three-run homer but it wasn't near enough.
The Tigers added one more run in the bottom of the fourth to make it 19-5 but they wouldn't get any closer.
The Bulldogs plated one final run in the top of the fifth to close out the scoring.
"Every time they hit the ball it found a hole, but they also hit a lot of balls hard," said Williams. "They were just much better than us today."
Scotty Keenan and Landers each had two hits. Eaves had three hits and two RBIs.
The Tigers were led by Hudson's two hits.
Jake Welch took the loss in 2 1/3 innings of work. He allowed 11 runs (10 earned) off nine hits.
Cape Central will play against Jackson on Friday when they resume a suspended game from earlier in the week. The Tigers will host Parkway North on Saturday.
Sikeston will play at St Dominic, a school in O'Fallon, Mo., on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The Sikeston jayvee team improved to 3-0 on the season and 3-0 in the SEMO Conference with a 5-4 win against Cape Central.
Bryce Wibbenmeyer got the win in all seven innings of work. He allowed seven hits and five walks while striking out five.
He also had two hits to help his own cause.
Garland Hemphill also collected two hits.
Others were Matt Limbaugh (1-4), Ryan Dicus (1-4), Ross Merideth (1-2, 2 RBIs), Tyler Baker (1-3, RBI) and Cody Black (RBI).
In late action Tuesday night, the Bulldog JV team defeated Scott City's junior varsity 24-9.