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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Bulldogs pound Cape Central 10-5

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Sikeston second baseman Richard Landers awaits a throw.
CAPE GIRARDEAU - Graduation claimed Sikeston's three top bats, but through two games this season the Bulldogs have not had too many problems scoring runs.

After claiming its season-opener 5-2 at home Tuesday against Scott City, Sikeston (2-0) pounded Cape Central pitching for 10 runs in a 10-5 victory Wednesday at Central (2-6).

Sikeston has won 13 of the last 16 games against the Tigers.

Tyler Baker, a junior, led the 12-hit attack with a 3-for-4 performance including a grand slam in a 6-run third.

Senior Ross Merideth finished 2-for-2 with a pair of RBIs and senior Matt Limbaugh added a solo home run.

Sikeston coach Kevin Self said he was happy the way his players stepped up and got big hits on Wednesday, but knows it will take a while for everyone to get used to their new roles.

"It's going to take take them a while to make the transition of being the guy to get the hit," he said.

The Bulldogs failed in their first chance to come up with the big hit on Wednesday, failing to capitalize with a bases loaded no out situation off Central starter Tyrone Reece.

Sikeston did not get down on itself, though, coming back with the eventual knock out punch in the third. Josh Jackson and J.R. Bizzell led off with back-

to-back singles to start the third.

After a fielders choice, Cullen DeHart walked and Ross Merideth was hit by a pitch to drive in the first run of the game.

Baker's grand slam made the score 5-0, and a walk, an error and an RBI single by Bryce Wibbenmeyer put the score at 6-0 after 2 1/2 innings. Sikeston's third inning was indicative of the game, with multiple players stepping up.

"We don't have one or two kids that can just take over and carry us, we have to have all nine guys step up," Self said.

DeHart, starting his first game on the mound since his sophomore season after having Tommy John surgery, was solid on the mound.

The left-handed senior cruised through three innings before having a few bumpy innings.

The Tigers scored a run in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth. Sikeston had an answer for each Tiger comeback, plating one in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.

"There were three innings in a row where we'd get one run, another run, then we got two. We had to answer them," Self said.

With his pitch count reaching about 80, DeHart exited after six solid innings. DeHart allowed six hits, struck out three and walked two.

Merideth pitched a perfect seventh to close the game.

"I thought he threw extremely well," Self said of DeHart. "I wanted him to get through the sixth and he did."

DeHart likely could have made it to the seventh if not for a few defensive miscues which extended a couple of innings.

Sikeston committed three errors in the game, one of the few negative aspects on the day.

"That really hurt us," Self said. "Part that is nerves, kids not used to having to make plays."

Reece lasted just 2 2/3 innings for the Tigers to pick up his third loss of the season. Tyler Bruce finished the final 4 1/3 innings for the Tigers. Each pitcher allowed six hits, with Reece walking three and Bruce two.

"We got behind as pitchers," Central coach Steve Williams said. "We got behind way too much. When hitters know what's coming, you have to throw in the strike zone, you then make them better hitters."

Zac Hudson had two hits for the Tigers, and Matt Hester had two RBIs. The Bulldogs are now 2-0 in SEMO Conference play, with their next conference game on Tuesday when they host Poplar Bluff. The Bulldogs will travel to East Carter County tomorrow for a non-conference game.

"I look at our conference and I think there's going to be a lot of competitive games," Self said.

Sikeston lost the JV game 3-1 to Cape Central.

Garrett Limbaugh was the losing pitcher, throwing five innings and allowing three runs off five hits. He struck out six and walked two.

Dustin Barker threw one inning of relief, striking out one.

Chase Ferrell led Sikeston with two hits. Scott Droddy had one hit and one RBI.