CHARLESTON - The Sikeston and Charleston baseball teams haven't played for over 20 years, and with the way Tuesday's game went, the Bluejays may be second-guessing themselves.
Sikeston posted its most lopsided win of the season with a 28-0, five-inning rout behind reserve pitcher Garland Hemphill's no-hitter at Hillhouse Park.
The Bulldogs (8-3) pounded out 21 hits and led 17-0 after two innings of play.
The Bluejays (3-6) didn't help matters as they booted three errors, walked eight and hit six batters.
"That's been our bug-a-boo all year, making errors," said Charleston coach Chris Stanfield. "Then you mix in a walk or two and that's too good of a hitting ballclub to be able to give them more than what they're already earning."
But despite the miscues and the demoralizing final score, Stanfield saw some good things.
"To be honest, we had some good at-bats," said Stanfield. "We had some of the best at-bats this game, as far as battling and fouling pitches off, some of the best we've had all year. We were proud of them. Tip your hat to Hemphill, he threw a whale of a ballgame. But it's good for our kids to see that caliber of a ballclub to see where we're aspiring to be. We knew they were going to be good coming in. They're not No. 6 in the state for no reason."
Hemphill's only mistakes was hitting the first batter on his first pitch and walking a batter.
He struck out five and allowed his defense to do the rest as they made some difficult plays look routine.
"He threw well -- he had good pop with his fastball," said Sikeston coach Kevin Self. "His changeup wasn't bad. He puts so much pressure on himself sometimes, but we got seven runs in the first and that helps a lot. We made some good plays behind him."
Sikeston jumped on top from the start as they scored seven runs off just three hits in the first inning.
Tyler Baker's two-run triple to right centerfield was the big blow of the inning.
The Bulldogs piled on 10 more runs in the top of the second. Matt Limbaugh had a bases-clearing triple and Bryce Wibbenmeyer had a two-run double.
Self emptied his bench for the remainder of the game but the bleeding didn't stop as the Bulldogs tallied five more runs in the third, three in the fourth and two in the fifth.
"The guys that came in off the bench were ready to swing the bats and they got some hits," said Self. "I wanted them to get in there and get their money's worth. I think everybody had a hit. For the most we hit the ball hard.
"We took advantage of a lot of walks and hit batters and they made several errors. But I respect their coaches for wanting to play us and beef up their schedule a little bit. They're getting better and trying to improve. We play them in everything else, so why not baseball?"
Sikeston's multiple hitters were J.R. Bizzell (3-5, 3 runs, RBI), Ross Merideth (2-5, 4 runs, 3 RBIs), Limbaugh (2-2, 2 runs, 3 RBIs), Richard Landers (2-3, 3 RBIs, run), Wibbenmeyer (2-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs), Ryan Dicus (2-2, 2 runs) and Zach Brooks (2-2, 3 RBIs).
Cullen DeHart, Cody Black, Hemphill, Andrew Box and Jerod Scott also recorded hits.
Charleston's Josh Marshall took the loss in 1 1/3 innings pitched. Dustin McCann and Tyler McCann pitched in relief.
"It's only the second time Josh has been on the mound in his high school career," said Stanfield. "With hitters like this, if you throw it down the middle they're going to hit it. I think he was trying to be too fine and he just got himself in trouble."
Sikeston will host Kennett today at 4 p.m. in a makeup game. They host Dexter tomorrow at 4 p.m. in another makeup game.
Charleston will host Scott Central today at 4 p.m. They will host the Bluejay Classic this Saturday in a five-team round robin.