Despite the graduation of five starters, including All-American Blake DeWitt and two Division I signees, the Bulldogs have now raced out to a 4-0 start after Monday's 7-2 win against Notre Dame at VFW Stadium.
Sikeston broke a scoreless game in the bottom of the fourth after a couple Notre Dame miscues kept the inning alive.
Sikeston scored its first run with one out when Notre Dame catcher Dane Balsmann pulled his foot off the plate on a fielder's choice while attempting to turn a double play with the throw to first.
Cullen DeHart came across the plate safely when the umpire ruled Balsmann's foot came off the plate.
The very next batter, Eric Chappell, blooped a flyball into short centerfield but centerfielder Mitch Glueck lost it in the sun, allowing Tyler Baker to score to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 edge.
"We made some mistakes and that ended up costing us," said Notre Dame assistant coach Tim Garner. "If we can eliminate those mistakes then the momentum doesn't change and who knows what happens. The wheels didn't completely fall off that inning because they just scored two."
But Sikeston had all the momentum they needed.
Leadoff batter J.R. Bizzell led off the bottom of the fifth inning with an inside the park home run -- a line drive that Glueck misplayed as it sailed over his head to the fence 390 feet away.
Bizzell, running hard the whole way, eventually slid across home plate as the throw was off line to give Sikeston a 3-0 lead.
Bizzell's homer seemed to spark the Bulldogs the rest of the way.
Ross Merideth gave Sikeston a 5-0 lead with a two-run home run over the left field fence.
"We didn't swing it good for quite a while and then Bizzell hits a shot over the centerfielder's head for an inside the park home run -- and then we start hitting," said Self. "It just takes somebody to hit one hard to get the rest of them going and that happened here."
Notre Dame (3-3) got on the board in the top of the sixth with a Derek Ressel solo home run to left field to cut the lead to 5-1.
But Sikeston answered with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. DeHart had a run-scoring double and Merideth added an RBI-single.
Notre Dame scored its other run in the top of the seventh off relief pitcher Bryce Wibbenmeyer. After a walk and a double, Jeremy Brinkmeyer's sacrifice fly brought home Blake Essner.
Essner was the losing pitcher in 6 2/3 innings of work. He allowed seven runs (five earned) off nine hits. He struck out five, walked two and hit two batters.
Sikeston sophomore Jerod Scott was the winning pitcher in six innings pitched. He allowed one run off six hits. He struck out three, walked two and hit a batter.
"Scott threw well for them," said Garner. "We're still in a situation where we're taking too many strike 3s. We need to attack good pitches when we get them and right now we're not doing that. We're waiting for the perfect pitch and that's not always going to happen."
Sikeston was led by Bizzell, Merideth and Richard Landers with two hits apiece. Merideth had three RBIs.
Senior Matt Limbaugh added a triple for Sikeston.
Notre Dame was led by Shane Menz, who had a pair of doubles. Blake Essner, Balsmann, Ressel, Lucas Dirnberger and Jacob Wengert each had one hit.
The game didn't count towards the SEMO Conference standings, but Self was just as happy to defeat Notre Dame, a district opponent for Sikeston.
"This is a big win for us," said Self. "We just have to keep improving. I think we're getting better."
Sikeston's JV improved to 3-1 on the season with a wild 20-19 come from behind win against the Notre Dame JV.
Sikeston's Nick Lambert brought home the tying and winning runs with a single in the bottom of the seventh.
Lambert also had a grand slam to cut the Notre Dame lead to two in the sixth inning. He finished 3-for-6 with eight RBIs.
Austin Williams was 5-6 with four RBIs. Others were Garrett Limbaugh (3-5, 2 RBIs, Dustin Barker (3-5, RBI), Chase Ferrell (2-5, RBI), Scott Droddy (2-2, HR, 2 RBIs), Clayton Mayfield (1-5, RBI), Tyler Dame (1-1) and Cody Anderson (1
Barker was the winning pitcher in relief, throwing 1 1/3 innings.