(Photo by Lance Hanlin)
ELLSINORE - The Sikeston Bulldogs baseball team improved to 13-1 on the season with a 16-0, five inning road victory against East Carter on Monday.
The Bulldogs slugged four home runs in East Carter's smallish park while pitcher Blake DeWitt tossed a four-hit shutout.
It's the first time Sikeston has played the East Carter Redbirds.
"It's just one of those games where a team wants to play better clubs," said Sikeston head coach Kevin Self. "They stepped up and wanted to play us and we were short a game. It's nice to get a game in. We'll play anybody, we don't care who it is."
DeWitt threw all five innings while striking out six and walking none.
He also went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Sophomore Richard Landers had the biggest day, going 3-for-3, with a home run, a double and a season-high five RBIs.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Jacob Priday run-scoring single.
Later in the inning, Scotty Keenan got the offense going with a two-out, two-run double to make it 3-0.
"That was a big one," said Self. "Scotty's hit got us going."
The Bulldogs came back with two runs in the top of the second to make it 5-0.
They blew the game open with a seven-run third inning to make it 12-0.
Lance Rhodes blasted a grand slam to highlight the third inning.
The Bulldogs plated their final four runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Drew Lawrence also had a solo home run for the Bulldogs.
Despite the field's small dimensions, Self said his team hit the ball hard for the most part.
"It's normal down the right and leftfield lines, but it was short in center," said Self. "Just a normal flyball to centerfield went out of the ballpark. It was 280 or 290 and that's about 100 feet in front of our centerfield fence at VFW Stadium."
Other Bulldog contributors were Rhodes (2-3, 3 runs, HR, 4 RBIs), Priday (2-2, 2 runs, RBI, 2B), Nathan Eaves (1-3, run, SB), Lawrence (1-2, HR, 2 runs), Keenan (3-4, 2B, 3 RBIs, 2 runs), Cullen DeHart (1-2, run), Brad Deere (run) and Brandon Eldridge (run).
East Carter's (4-4) Drew Downs threw the entire five innings and allowing 15 hits and 16 runs. He struck out five.
"He threw a nice breaking ball and had a fastball, but we sat on the fastball for the most part," said Self. "He tried to mix it up the best he could. Lance hit one of his breaking pitches out the park and he didn't know what to throw after that. I cleaned the bench in the third inning and those kids came in and did a good job. All around it was a good effort. We did what we needed to do and got out of there."
Sikeston will play at Farmington on Friday at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs will host Webster Groves on Saturday at noon for a doubleheader. The game was a late addition to the schedule.
Sikeston's junior varsity will host Poplar Bluff on Friday at 4 p.m. at VFW Stadium.
POPLAR BLUFF - The Dexter Bearcats fell to 7-3 on the season with a 7-3 loss to SEMO Conference foe Poplar Bluff on Monday.
The Mules jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back.
Poplar Bluff's Chris Smith threw all seven innings, allowing three runs off six hits. He struck out nine and walked none.
"Smith's their ace and he did what an ace should do, he came out, threw strikes and didn't walk anybody," said Dexter head coach Brian Becker. "He made us put the ball in play and Bluff fielded it. We didn't do a good job hitting today and you have to credit Chris Smith for that."
Dexter's Nolan Pixley took the loss, throwing four innings and allowing five runs (two earned) off six hits. He struck out three and walked one.
"We didn't play very good defense behind him," said Becker. "We kicked the ball around quite a bit today. We can't do that and win ballgames. We've just got to get better."
Dexter (2-3 SEMO Conference) was led by Matt Burnett's two hits and one RBI. Cale Williams, Josh Miller, Willie Dooley and Taylor Pyle each had hits for the Bearcats.
Dexter will host East Prairie today at 4:15 p.m.
PORTAGEVILLE -- The Chaffee Red Devils stole a season-high seven bases in Monday's 11-5 win over Portageville.
Three of the seven came from Brandon Davis in the seventh inning, when he impressively stole second, third and then home.
Zac Horman picked up the complete-game win, allowing five runs on six hits and three walks. He recorded seven strikeouts.
He also helped his own cause in the second inning with a grand slam. Horman finished the day 2-for-4 with the homer and a double.
"I thought Horman looked really good on the mound today," said Chaffee coach Brian Horrell. "He had command of all his pitches and helped himself at the plate. He had a nice game."
James Reischman was 1-for-3 with three RBIs and three stolen bases. Sam Burnett was 2-for-4 with a homer in the sixth. Robert Coomer was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Other hits came from Brent Thomason and Ryan Goetz.
Lance Penn started the game for Portageville, but Deere came on in relief and was charged with the loss.
Deere and Chris Bates were both 2-for-3 at the plate. Penn was 1-for-3 with two RBIs and Brewer was 1-for-2.
Chaffee (6-5) will host Woodland today at 4 p.m.
"The kids continue to work hard, and that's all I can ask," said Horman.
NEW MADRID -- New Madrid County Central lost to district-rival Kennett in nine innings on Monday, 9-8.
The Eagles held a commanding 8-2 lead heading into the third inning, but Kennett rallied to tie the score in the seventh.
The Indians then scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. NMCC had the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning with one out, but a double play ended the game.
"For us to have a chance at a good seed, we can't let these type of games get away from us," said NMCC coach John Jones. "We had ample opportunities to score, but left several players stranded on base. The game shouldn't have been this close."
In all, the Eagles left 15 runners on base.
Ben Stricklen was charged with the loss. He threw all nine innings for the Eagles, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and one walk. He recorded 10 strikeouts.
At the plate, Jordan Kimball was 2-for-6 with two RBIs. Chris Nance was 1-for-5 with an RBI and Stricklen was 1-for-5 with a double. Other hits came from Jeffrey Hunter and Blake Jordan.
Kennett's Higgins drew the start, but lasted just 1 2/3 innings. Lyons came on in relief and picked up the win, throwing the final 7 1/3 innings.
At the plate, Lyons, Foster and Butler were all 2-for-4. Palmer had the team's other hit.
NMCC (3-2-1, 1-1 in SEMO Conference) will host Cape Central today at 4 p.m.
"When we've got an opportunity to beat a team, we need to take advantage of it and put the nail in the coffin," said Jones. "Tonight, we didn't do that."