SIKESTON -- Sikeston's Senior American Legion team was the elixir struggling Cape Girardeau needed to break out of a prolonged slump.
Cape Girardeau (12-20), winner of only one of its last 11 outings coming in, pounded 13 hits in a 10-0 rout of Post 114 at V.F.W. Stadium on Friday.
A five-run first inning against starter Thomas Higgerson got things rolling for Cape Girardeau Post 63.
Cape coach Bill Bohnert said the team was hitting, even during the lean stretch, but were just not producing timely, clutch hits with runners on base.
That problem disappeared quickly as Kelly High School product Kendall Deason and Oran's Trevor Irwin stroked RBI doubles and Kent Deason, also a Kelly graduate, and Blake Slattery added RBI singles.
New Madrid's Higgerson, an emergency starter due to injury and a short pitching staff, settled down a bit after the first-inning outburst. He allowed a single run in the second on Ty Craft's solo homer to left field, a single run in the third and another in the fourth as Cape ran up an 8-0 lead.
"He (Higgerson) gave us some innings," said Sikeston coach Ron Baker, "which we desperately needed."
Higgerson went 6 1/3 innings in the seven-inning contest, allowing 10 runs on 12 hits with one strikeout and three walks.
He shut down Post 63 in the fifth and sixth frames, then appeared to run out of gas in the seventh when he gave way to reliever Matt Limbaugh with runners on first and second with one out.
Two more Cape runs, both charged to Higgerson, plated in the seventh for the final 10-0 margin. Tony Leuckel drove home one with a single and Craft had a sacrifice-fly RBI.
Kendal Deason, Craft, Leuckel and Slattery collected two hits apiece for Cape.
Meanwhile, Cape's Kirk Boeller cruised with a four-hit shutout. He struck out five and walked three in the complete-game effort.
Sikeston's best chance to break its scoring drought against Boeller came in the fourth inning.
Limbaugh broke up the no-hit bid, dumping a single into center field. A one-
out walk put runners on first and second with cleanup hitter Cullen DeHart at the plate.
DeHart, who went 2-for-3, laced a sinking liner to shallow left field which forced the runner on second to hold to make sure the ball wasn't caught. The ball was trapped but the hesitation allowed the left fielder time to force the runner at third and effectively defuse the Sikeston threat.
Zach Dill had the other Sikeston hit.
"We've been in a slump the past week or two," said Baker.
Sikeston (11-18) hosted Paragould, Ark., on Saturday at 2 p.m., then close out the regular season next week before the district playoffs begin on July 18 at Senath.
Sikeston, with a 4-1 district mark, enters the playoffs as the No. 2 seed behind top-seeded Senath.