It's the second time in three games Sikeston has posted 20 or more runs, but this was against a Class 4 SEMO Conference foe that many had pegged to give the Bulldogs a run for their money.
Sikeston (5-0, 3-0 SEMO Conference) dispelled any notions of a possible upset with a six-run first inning highlighted by sophomore Josh Jackson's grand slam.
After that, the floodgates were wide open as the Bulldogs scored four runs in the second inning and nine more in the third. They got one final run in the fourth inning as Sikeston coach Kevin Self cleared the bench.
Sikeston ripped 17 hits, including eight for extra bases.
Self said Jackson's grand slam was the catalyst.
"That ball was hit -- that's about as quick as one gets out of here -- he hit it hard," said Self. "After that we had several kids hit it hard. We just started teeing off on pitches."
Poplar Bluff (4-2, 3-2 SEMO) actually got on the board first on a John Patty single to bring home Craig Lansford, who had tripled past a diving left fielder.
Sikeston wasted no time getting it back as Ross Merideth and Tyler Baker each had run-scoring singles.
Later on in the bottom of the first with the bases loaded and two outs, it appeared Mules pitcher Patty would get out of the jam, but Jackson's frozen rope to left field changed the complexion of the game.
"The grand slam was a real big at-bat," said Poplar Bluff coach Tim Harmon. "We left the pitch up in the strike zone and the guy parked it. It quickly changed the momentum of the game. After that it just went south on us. We just kind of down a little bit. We just kind of went through the motions from there."
In the top of the second inning, Poplar Bluff cut the lead to 6-2 after Eric Callahan doubled and scored on an Adam Ivie single.
In the bottom half of the inning, Matt Limbaugh tripled and scored off a Merideth double. Richard Landers then hit a two-run double. Jackson followed up with a run-scoring single to push the lead to 10-2.
Sikeston pushed the game past the 10-run mercy rule in the bottom of the third, sending 14 batters to the plate.
Cody Black had a two-run double and Cullen DeHart had a two-run single. J.R. Bizzell had a run-scoring double and Eric Chappell had a run-scoring single.
Sikeston scored its final run in the fourth inning when pinch hitter Zach Brooks singled in Jerod Scott.
"We were able to sit on the fastball," said Self. "He had good pop, but when you can only throw one pitch for a strike, we were able to sit on that pitch and catch up with it."
Saddled with the loss was Patty, who entered the game 2-0 on the season with a 0.58 earned run average, allowing just one earned run in 12 innings.
On Tuesday, Patty lasted just two innings and allowed 10 earned runs off nine hits.
"Sikeston just hit it," said Harmon. "They had solid base hits, or little bleeders that found a hole or seeing-eye singles. It was just one of those days for us."
Meanwhile, Sikeston got a strong pitching performance from DeHart, who threw all five innings and allowed just five hits and no walks with six strikeouts.
"He was solid other than just a couple mistakes," said Self. "He didn't walk anybody and that's the key. They may get a few hits, but you can't walk people and he didn't.
"Our pitching staff is doing just exactly what I thought it would do. They'll throw strikes, make them put it in play, and if our defense continues to make plays, then we've got a chance to win. Our offense won't swing it like this every game -- you can't expect 20 runs. I don't think we can be any sharper than we were today."
Bizzell led the Bulldogs with three hits and three runs. Other top offensive players were Limbaugh (2-3, 3 runs, stolen base), DeHart (2-4, 2 RBIs, run), Merideth (2-2, 2 RBIs, 3 runs), Tyler Baker (1-2, 3 runs, RBI) and Black (1-2, 2 RBIs, 2 runs).
Jackson had two hits and five RBIs.
"We didn't make any mistakes -- really we made none," said Self. "It was a good win for us. We got everybody in the game. So I was pleased. Part of it is they're starting to believe. When we played our first intersquad with our jayvee, they tied us and then one game they beat us and you start to wonder. I think it made us dig down and start working harder and it's starting to pay off."
Sikeston hosts Kelly today at 4 p.m. in a makeup game.
Sikeston won the JV game 13-3 in five innings behind a complete game performance by Garrett Limbaugh, who struck out eight and allowed three runs off six hits. He walked two.
Sikeston (4-1, 2-1 SEMO) was led by Cody Anderson and Dustin Barker with two hits each. Anderson had a home run and four RBIs while Barker had an RBI.
Austin Williams, Chase Ferrell, Scott Droddy, Nick Lambert, Tyler Dame and Joey Williams each had one hit.
Lambert had an RBI.
Freddy Gilliland had a game-ending home run to reach the 10-run rule.