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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

Charleston in search of rare district title

Sunday, May 16, 2004

(Photo)
Charleston hurler Marcus Dixon
BENTON - The Class 2, District 2 Tournament will get underway tomorrow at Kelly High School at 10 a.m.

the Charleston Bluejays find themselves in unfamiliar territory as the tournament favorites, garnering the top seed. They will play Crystal City at 10 a.m.

Host school Kelly got the No. 2 seed and will play seventh-seeded Grandview at noon.

No. 3 St. Vincent will play No. 6 Woodland at 2 p.m. followed by fourth-seeded Scott City versus No. 5 Valle at 4 p.m.

For Charleston, getting the top seed was quite an honor according to head coach Chris Stanfield.

"I'm tickled we got the number one seed, but what surprised me more than anything was the unanimous vote among the coaches, especially with the quality of the teams in the district," said Stanfield. "Since I've been at Charleston we've never been higher than a four, and that was last year. But it's a pretty big honor for us, especially for the kids. It shows the hard work they've put in this year has paid off."

It has been one of the most successful seasons in Bluejay baseball history as the team enters the tournament with a 13-8 record.

A.H. Marshall leads the team with a .463 average with 25 RBIs. Travis McCann follows up at .459 with four home runs and 32 RBIs. Rett Thompson is batting .300 with four home runs and 20 RBIs and Josh Marshall is at .339 with 12 RBIs.

Marcus Dixon is considered the staff ace at 5-5. He has a 3.12 ERA, striking out 69 in 51 2/3 innings. Dixon also bats .393 with 22 RBIs.

McCann is the No. 2 hurler with a 4-2 record. He has 56 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings with a 3.47 ERA.

"I like our chances, but it's another one of those years where the entire district is wide open," said Stanfield. "I think as many as six teams could win it. Our guys are awfully confident right now, especially after yesterday's extra inning win. They're starting to feel that no lead is too big to overcome. They're confident they can get the job done."

Kelly enters the tournament at 8-8, having competed in the large school dominated SEMO Conference giving the Hawks the edge in schedule difficulty.

"We're really looking forward to it and we're really excited about it," said Kelly coach Cory Johnson. "We think we've got a little momentum heading into Monday's action. I think we're sitting in as good a position as anybody in the whole district to come out of there. Hopefully we can continue our momentum tomorrow."

Even though the Hawks have the home-field advantage this year, Johnson feels the district is wide open.

"There's just so much parity in the district, it could be the No. 6, 7 or 8 seed that could win this thing," said Johnson. "I don't think there's a clear favorite. Charleston got the one seed because they played some of the district teams and got some wins, but none of them were convincing. We were glad to have (home field) this year and I think that's going to help us, even though we've only had five home games all year. Hopefully that will help us and we look to use that in our favor."

Kelly is led in batting by Caleb Daughtee, who is hitting .453, but has an on-base percentage of .700. He also has 15 RBIs.

Kent Deason follows up with a .365 average with 17 RBIs and a homer.

Trey Simmons is the staff ace, having thrown 15 1/3 straight scoreless innings, including 8 1/3 against Class 3 Notre Dame. Simmons is 5-2 this year. Kendal and Kent Deason will also see time on the mound.

Grandview enters the tournament at 5-11. Crystal City is 9-9-1.

Other teams that could challenge for the title are St. Vincent (11-10), Scott City (7-11), Woodland (11-7) and Ste. Genevieve Valle (10-11).

The semifinals will be on Tuesday at 2 and 4 p.m. The championship game will be Thursday at 4 p.m.