Sikeston trailed 3-1 after three innings of play, but the Bulldogs rattled off seven runs in the fourth inning to pull out the victory.
The game was originally scheduled to be played at Kelly High School, but it was moved to Sikeston because Kelly's field was too wet.
"For as cold as it was, I thought it was a pretty well-played game, especially for the first game of the year," said Sikeston coach Kevin Self. "Both bunches didn't play too bad. So many times you never know what you're going to get in that first game."
Kelly (0-1), played as the home team and struck first when Caleb Daughhetee doubled and scored on a single by John Simpher.
Sikeston tied it in the top of the second when Chase Ferrell singled home Nick Lambert.
The Hawks extended the lead to 2-1 on a run-scoring single by Blake Lee in the second. They made it 3-1 on Jordan Felter's RBI-single in the bottom of the third.
Sikeston's rally started in the fourth on a hit batter. Jerod Scott and Ferrell followed up with singles.
Joey Williams, who was pinch running for Lambert, scored on a throwing error to home plate off Scott's hit.
On Ferrell's hit, Scott appeared to be nabbed at the plate on a throw from center fielder Brandon Ayers.
But Kelly catcher Dallas Tew dropped the ball, allowing Scott to score the tying run.
"In that situation, and Dallas would tell you, he should've had the ball," said Kelly coach Cory Johnson.
"It just popped out of his glove. He probably took his eye off it at the last second. He was so far out, he probably could've caught it and danced a little before he tagged him."
Austin Williams then reached safely on a sacrifice bunt when nobody covered first.
Scott Droddy added a sacrifice fly to bring in Ferrell to give the Bulldogs a 4
Later in the inning, Lambert's bases-clearing double to left field proved to be the backbreaker for Kelly, propelling the Bulldogs to an 8-3 lead.
"That was a big inning for us -- we needed something positive to happen," said Self. "We had a couple hits and they gave us one or two. Nick hits the nail in the coffin when he drove it over the left fielder's head with the bases loaded and he cleans the bases. That really opened up the floodgates."
Black came in for relief for the Bulldogs and picked up the win, allowing no hits and no runs in three-plus innings of work.
He struck out four and walked three.
Scott pitched the final inning, striking out two and facing four.
"After we scored those seven, Cody came in and got outs," said Self.
"He ate up some innings and that made a huge difference. He threw well and he threw strikes. When he got tired, Jerod came in and closed the door."
Garrett Limbaugh got the start for the Bulldogs. He threw three innings, allowing three runs off four hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Daughhetee was the losing pitcher in 3 2/3 innings. He allowed all eight runs (four earned) off eight hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
Tew threw 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. He allowed two hits, two walks and struck out five.
"We had the one bad inning," said Johnson. "That's something we're going to have to work through. A lot of that's my fault. Not to make excuses, but we haven't had a whole lot of time to work on situational plays. We just didn't communicate. Things snowballed on us and things went downhill pretty quick.
"I'm real excited about this group. I saw a lot of good things today. I think we're going to have a good season."
Sikeston was led in hitting by Ferrell, going 3-4 with a run and an RBI. Scott, Black and Scott each had two hits for the Bulldogs.
Sikeston had 10 hits total.
"We had several hits, more than I thought we'd have going in," said Self. "We had several hit the ball well. But what it really comes down to is you've got to figure out a way to win."
Kelly had no multiple hitters.
Sikeston will host St. Louis powerhouse DeSmet on Saturday at noon.
Sikeston 8, Kelly 3
WP -- Cody Black, 1-0
LP -- Caleb Daughhetee, 0-1
2B -- Josh Jackson (S), Nick Lambert (S), Jerod Scott (S), Tyler Baker (S), Daughhetee (K).
Multiple hits -- Sikeston: Black 2-4, Scott 2-3, Chase Ferrell 3-4. Records -- Sikeston 1-0, Kelly 0-1