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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Four Sikeston players honored

Thursday, June 2, 2005

SIKESTON -- Four Sikeston baseball players were named to the SEMO first team all-conference and first team all-district recently.

Seniors Ross Merideth (pitcher), J.R. Bizzell (infield), Cullen DeHart (infield) and junior Tyler Baker (designated hitter) were all selected by the coaches to both teams.

Coaches could nominate players from their own teams but they could not vote on them.

"All four of our guys were pretty easily selected to the all-conference first team," said Sikeston coach Kevin Self. "Their statistics were as good or better as anybody else's on the board."

Merideth was one of five pitchers in the 10-team conference to be selected. He was 7-0 on the season with a 1.73 earned run average in 48 2/3 innings pitched.

He allowed 41 hits and struck out 42 batters while showing great command with only four walks all season.

He was a solid hitter as well, batting .316 with a pair of home runs and 18 RBIs.

"He had a good year -- he threw strikes and he didn't walk anybody," said Self. "He was consistent all year and he had a good year. He was by far our most consistent pitcher."

Always known as a defensive player first and foremost, Bizzell came into his own this season with the bat.

He tied Blake DeWitt's single-season school record for hits with 51 while at a .490 clip.

He clubbed five doubles, five triples and two home runs with 18 RBIs and 41 runs scored.

He also stole 11 bases and is considered one of the top defensive shortstops in the area.

On top of it all, he broke a school record and tied a state record by knocking 39 singles on the season.

DeHart put together a tremendous season both at the plate and on the mound. He made the all-conference team as a first baseman.

"Everybody knew he would make it was a first baseman but he could've made it as a pitcher too," said Self. "He led our team in RBIs and home runs and he really had a good offensive year."

DeHart had eight home runs and had 39 RBIs while batting .402. He also had 32 runs scored with eight doubles and a triple.

On the mound, DeHart was 5-2 with a save and had a 1.09 ERA in 45 innings pitched. He allowed 37 hits and struck out 35 with just nine walks.

Baker provided great protection for DeHart as the cleanup batter in the Bulldogs' lineup. He was second on the team with a .442 average and six home runs and 31 RBIs. He also led the team with 17 walks and 10 doubles. He scored 31 runs as well.

"He was a true DH," said Self. "He played in the field when we needed him to, but most of the time he was our DH. He had a great offensive year. I was surprised by his numbers, I didn't realize he could have that kind of offensive year. He hit the ball hard consistently all season."

Sikeston players that were selected to the honorable mention all-conference team were: Richard Landers (infield), Matt Limbaugh (outfield), Josh Jackson (outfield) and Eric Chappell (catcher).

Locally, New Madrid County Central's Ryan Lawrence and Jordan Kimball were selected as first team infielders while Thomas Higgerson was named a first team outfielder.

Dexter's Drew Pixley was selected as a first team catcher and Kelly's Kendal Deason was named a first team utility player. Chaffee's Brad Daugherty was named a first team outfielder.

Sikeston finished the season tied for second place in the conference with Cape Central. Jackson won the conference regular season title while Notre Dame won the conference tournament.

Jackson's Jason Meystedt was named player of the year while Jackson coach Rex Crosnoe was named coach of the year.