(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
CHAFFEE - The Sikeston Senior American Legion Post 114 baseball team saw its season come to an end on Wednesday night with an 11-8 loss to Chaffee in the District 14 Legion Tournament at Harmon Field.
Chaffee (19-13) scored seven of its 11 runs in the seventh and eighth innings to pull out the victory.
Sikeston's season ends at 15-10.
Third-seeded Chaffee moves on in the loser's bracket where they will play at 8 p.m. tonight against the winner of Poplar Bluff-Jackson.
"We did some things that have been uncharacteristic of the way we play and it cost us," said Sikeston head coach Charlie Dye. "That's about all you can say."
True, fifth-seeded Sikeston committed five errors, including two catcher's interference infractions, issued seven walks and hit four batters.
It all added up to eight unearned runs for Chaffee.
"When you get down to the loser's bracket, you figure a lot of the games are going to be high-scoring," said Dye. "But you've also got to play good defense. We just didn't get the job done today. It wasn't for lack of effort."
Sikeston managed to take a 7-4 lead until Chaffee exploded for four runs in the bottom of the seventh, which was kept alive by two Post 114 errors.
The miscues were enough to wake up the Chaffee bats as the team collected six of their 10 hits in the final two innings.
"That's the way we've played all year long," said Chaffee head coach Mitch Wood. "We'll sleep for a while then we'll score a few runs and we'll get going. I don't know, the kids just hit the ball late in games this year. They've done it all year long, it's not anything new. We never jumped on anybody."
Chaffee took its first lead on Ryne Wood's two-run double in the bottom of the seventh to make it 8-7.
Sikeston tied it in the top of the eighth when Willie Dooley drove home Drew Lawrence with a single.
Chaffee put the game away in the bottom of the eighth with three more runs. Eric O'Hare's seeing-eye single to right field brought home two runs which proved to be enough.
Sikeston's Mack Taylor took the loss in relief. He threw 2/3 of an inning, allowing three runs (one earned) off four hits and one walk.
Bryce Wibbenmeyer started for Sikeston and threw 6 2/3 innings. He allowed eight runs (two earned) off six hits and six walks with two strikeouts.
"We've used Bryce as a relief pitcher this year and he hasn't gone the extended distance other than one time this year right after school ball," said Dye. "He did a good job with no more innings than he pitched during the summer. But if we make a couple plays behind him who knows."
Chaffee's Zac Horman got the win in relief. He threw 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) off three hits. He struck out two and walked one.
"We were looking for somebody to just come in a throw strikes," said Wood. "The thing about Zac, he uses his defense well. He's been pitching good for us all year long. I've got the pitching. I expected him to come in and do what he did."
O'Hare started for Chaffee and threw 4 2/3 innings. He allowed six runs (four earned) off eight hits and five walks with three strikeouts.
Chaffee was led by Nathan Seyer, Wood and O'Hare, who each had two hits and two RBIs. Horman had two hits and one RBI.
Sikeston was led by Richard Landers, who was 2-3 with three RBIs and a run scored. Scotty Keenan and Willie Dooley each had two hits and two RBIs. Lawrence had two hits with a run and an RBI.
"I don't fault my kids' efforts," said Dye. "They played hard the whole summer and I'm proud of them. I think we had a successful summer when you sit back and look at it. It was an enjoyable summer, it was a good group of kids to work with. The coaching staff enjoyed being around them."