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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Sikeston rallies past Dexter

Friday, April 22, 2005

(Photo)
Sikeston third baseman Richard Landers dives for the ball.
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldogs needed a last-inning run to defeat the pesky Dexter Bearcats.

Sikeston prevailed 4-3 in the SEMO Conference and district matchup against Dexter at VFW Stadium on Thursday.

With the score knotted at 3, Sikeston's Richard Landers spanked a bases loaded single down the third-base line to plate pinchrunner Andrew Box with the game-winning run.

"We had to battle for what we got today," said Sikeston coach Kevin Self. "Richard (Landers) did what he had to do, just hit it hard and put it in play with the infield in. But I credit Coach (Brian) Becker and Dexter. They came over here ready to play."

Sikeston (10-3, 4-1 in conference) opened the scoring with single runs in the first and second innings for an early 2-0 lead.

(Photo)
Sikeston pitcher Ross Merideth
In their first at-bat, J.R. Bizzell led off with a single through the hole at shortstop. Josh Jackson sacrificed Bizzell to second, preceding Cullen DeHart's RBI double into the right-centerfield gap.

In the second, Landers reached when his hard-hit grounder to second base was misplayed, Dexter's only error of the game. He advanced on Jerod Scott's groundout to first, then came around to score on Eric Chappell's single.

The Bulldogs threatened in the third, but Dexter starter Michael Lambert, despite hitting three batsmen in the frame, wiggled out of the jam with no damage done.

"He (Lambert) threw a heckuva ballgame," said Becker. "He got himself in trouble a few times with hit batsmen, but did a great job of pitching around it.

"He made some tough pitches and got them to pop the ball up a few times when they had the bases loaded and again with runners on first and second. He got a couple of infield flyouts that were huge."

Dexter (3-5) closed the gap to 2-1 in the top of the fourth.

Cole Smith doubled to the base of the wall in left field, then trotted home on Nick Chamberlain's two-out two-base hit into the left-field gap.

The Bearcats scratched out an unearned run in the fifth.

Without benefit of a base hit, a couple of Bulldog errors allowed Anthony Elfrink to score the game-tying run.

But Sikeston came right back with a run in its half of the fifth.

A leadoff walk to Jackson, a single by DeHart and a walk to Tyler Baker loaded the bags with no outs.

Lambert got Sikeston pitcher Ross Merideth on a fly to shallow left field, then, with one out, Matt Limbaugh lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Jackson for a 3-2 lead.

Lambert retired Landers on a popup to second to again escape with little damage.

In the seventh, Dexter scored once again without benefit of a hit.

Dexter's leadoff hitter Drew Pixley reached on a Bulldog error, was sacrificed to second, advanced to third on a groundout, then scored on a groundout to tie the score at 3-3.

"Good teams get up off the mat and once they tied it up, we figured out a way," said Self, of the Bulldogs' late rally to win.

Although three Bulldog errors figured in Dexter's scoring, a couple of defensive gems stood out.

In the third with a Bearcat runner on second and one out, Sikeston first baseman DeHart lunged to his left for a backhand stab of a sizzling liner over the bag, then completed the double play at second base.

"We made some defensive plays," said Self. "That double play turned by Dehart took them out of an inning. We had catches in right field by Jackson and (center fielder) Limbaugh did a good job on a couple of balls hit good. He got a good jump, turned, broke (on the ball) and got there. We also had some good plays on the infield."

Jackson laid out for a diving grab of a sinking liner in the sixth. Merideth went the distance for the win, allowing one earned run on four hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

Lambert, who took the loss, also had a route-going effort, giving up three earned runs on eight hits with six hit batsmen, three walks and no strikeouts.

Bizzell went 3-for 4 and DeHart 2-for-2 to lead the Bulldogs' offense.

Following a shutout loss to Jackson on Wednesday, Dexter's Becker was pleased with his team's effort.

"Sikeston is one of the quality programs in the state and I was proud of the way my kids battled with them all day, tooth and nail," he said. "If today's game was any indication of what the future holds for us, I look forward to it."

The victory was especially important to Sikeston, keeping them in the driver's seat, at 3-0, for the top district seed.

"Right now, we're jockeying for the highest seed we can get," said Self. "The highest seed gets the home field…there's no flipping for it anymore. The higher you are the more games you get to play at home."

The Bulldogs travel to Farmington for a 4 p.m. contest on Friday.

Sikeston got a walk-off single from Chase Ferrell to defeat Dexter's JV 6-5.

Garrett Limbaugh was the winning pitcher in seven innings of work. He allowed five runs off seven hits and three walks with nine strikeouts.

Sikeston (5-2) was led in hitting by Ferrell's two hits and three RBIs. Cody Anderson also had two hits.

Clayton Mayfield had a hit and two RBIs while Austin Williams, Limbaugh and Freddy Gilliland each had one hit.