Unit 114 improves record to 31-9 with wins
SIKESTON - The Sikeston Junior Legion Auxiliary Unit 114 baseball team swept a doubleheader from Jackson on Monday at VFW Stadium.
Sikeston won the first game 11-1 and took the nightcap 10-2. Sikeston improves to 31-9 on the year and 8-1 in district play.
After getting back from Springfield early in the morning on Monday, head coach Jeff Limbaugh was unsure of how his team would respond.
"We got in last night from Springfield at 1 o'clock," said Limbaugh. "So I was worried if we would be ready. But they were ready and we beat a pretty good Jackson team in convincing fashion."
In the first game, Sikeston got a complete game win out of Zach Dill, who allowed one hit and four walks with five strikeouts.
Eric Chappell led the team with three hits and two RBIs. Others were Jordan Kimball (2-4, 2B, 3 RBIs), Joe Lincoln (2-2, 2B, RBI), Ross Merideth (2-3, 2 RBIs), Dill (2-5), Jordan Penn (2-3, RBI), Andy Gantner (single) and Ryan Adams (single).
Sikeston won the second game behind a complete game performance by Ben Walters. He allowed six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts.
"We throw two guys and they go 14 innings," said Limbaugh. "I think any coach would take that kind of effort. We're trying to get our pitching rotation set for districts. We played without Cullen (DeHart) and J.R. (Bizzell) so people stepped up in key roles."
Hitters for Sikeston were Cody Black (3-4, 2B, 3 RBIs), Lincoln (2-3), Walters (2-4, RBI), Adams (2-4, 2B, 3 RBIs), Kimball (1-4, 2B), Chappell (1-4, RBI) and Tyler Baker (1-3, RBI).
Sikeston will play Poplar Bluff in a doubleheader today at 3 p.m. at Three Rivers Community College.
Fourth of July Festival
SPRINGFIELD - Over the weekend Sikeston's junior legion captured first place in the Fourth of July Festival in Springfield.
Sikeston won the first game against Springfield Kickapoo 9-0. They defeated Rolla 10-0 in five innings in the semifinal and took first place in the championship with a 5-4 win against Joplin.
"We went over there and got to see the western part of the state," said Limbaugh. "They don't give us much credit over there. We showed them we could play. We played great defense. Our pitching was great the whole tournament."
In the first game, Jordan Kimball threw the complete game shutout. He allowed five hits with three walks while striking out seven.
Hitters for Sikeston were Cullen DeHart (3-3, 2 2B, RBI), Eric Chappell (3-4, RBI), Kimball (2-4, 2B, RBI), J.R. Bizzell (1-3, 2 runs, RBI), Ross Merideth (1-3), Zach Dill (1-2) and Andy Gantner (1-4).
Against Rolla, Merideth threw a one-hit, five inning shutout. He walked zero and struck out six.
Limbaugh called Merideth's performance "masterful."
Sikeston was led by DeHart (2-2, RBI), Dill (2-3, RBI), Cody Black (2-3, RBI), Kimball (1-3, RBI), Chappell (1-2), Merideth (1-3), Gantner (1-2) and Matt Limbaugh (1-3, RBI).
In the championship, Sikeston trailed 4-0 heading into the bottom of the third inning before cutting the lead to 4-3.
That's where the score remained until the bottom of the seventh.
Chappell got it started with a walk and he was sacrificed to second by Kimball. Gantner then reached first on an error to put runners on the corner.
In stepped Bizzell, who was batting for an injured DeHart. Bizzell laced a gapper into right centerfield to plate the tying run. With Gantner rounding second and heading to third, Joplin's rightfielder missed everybody and threw it toward the Joplin dugout.
The error proved costly as Gantner rounded third and scored the winning run.
DeHart threw five innings and allowed four runs off eight hits. He struck out five and walked one.
Jordan Penn picked up the win in relief. He threw two innings and allowed no runs or hits. He walked two.
Hitters for Sikeston were DeHart (2-3), Tyler Baker (2-3), Bizzell (1-1, RBI), Merideth (1-3, 3B, RBI), Dill (1-3, RBI), Cody Black (1-2, 2B) and Colt Pruitt (1-2, 3B).
"I don't think we made an error until the championship game," said Limbaugh. "We scored every inning in the first two games. That's hitting up and down the lineup. Those tournaments like that are good to get the boys playing together and having fun."