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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sikeston holds off Dons, 3-1

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

(Photo)
Doniphan's Dustin Long tags out Sikeston's Scott Droddy.
SIKESTON - The Sikeston Bulldogs baseball team escaped the first round of Class 3, District 1 play with a 3-1 victory over the Doniphan Dons on Monday at VFW Stadium in Sikeston.

Excellent pitching by both squads dominated the contest, but sloppy fielding by the Dons helped the Bulldogs advance to the semifinals.

All three runs by the Bulldogs were unearned, as the Dons committed four errors in the game.

Sikeston's Nick Lambert pitched a complete game four-hitter against Doniphan. Lambert struck out 10, walked one and did not give up an earned run. Doniphan's Brandon Burns also pitched a complete game striking out five and walked two.

"We knew going in to today that we had to win three games," said Sikeston head coach Kevin Self. "I knew if Lambert could come out and pitch like he did earlier in the year, I really felt like he could shut those guys (Doniphan) down. This is the best Nick has thrown all year and it is the best breaking ball he has had all year. He also had good pop on his fastball. Nick threw really, really well. With the performance by Nick, it sets up our pitching for the rest of the way.

(Photo)
Sikeston's Nick Lambert delivers a pitch.
"We had a hard time staying back on the breaking ball thrown by Burns. We hit so many balls off the end of the bat. We hit a few hard, but those usually went right at them. Have to credit Doniphan, they came in with a record of 12-3, so obviously they are not bad. Every year they come to this tournament as a four or five seed and have some kids that can play. Couple of years ago, Doniphan defeats Notre Dame if not for a ground ball going through the legs of their third baseman and Notre Dame was seeded second in 2004. We had to come out and play."

Doniphan got on the scoreboard first in the top of third as leadoff hitter Michael Wicklunol singled home Jason Shrum, after Shrum reached first on a throwing error by the Sikeston shortstop.

Sikeston rebounded in the bottom of the third, as Andrew Box scored on a throwing error by the Dons third baseman. Box singled to start the rally in the third.

Pitching was the story in the contest as both teams combined to tally only nine hits apiece.

"Defensively and pitching wise we were very solid," said Self. "Chase (Ferrell) did a great job behind the plate blocking balls and throwing guys out. We did a nice job overall except hit the ball hard. We would give them one and then they would give us one back."

The Bulldogs took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs in the inning, Scott Droddy doubled to left-center to start the rally. Next up for Sikeston, Jerod Scott singled and Droddy scored on a throwing error by Doniphan's third baseman. After five innings, Sikeston led 2-1.

Sikeston scored an insurance run in the sixth to put away the Dons.

With runners on first and third and two strikes on the hitter, Sikeston's Tyler Baker took off from first base looking to entice a throw from the pitcher.

Burns stepped off the mound for the Dons and turned to run-down Baker. As Burns raced towards Baker, courtesy runner Josh Pierce, who ran for Ferrell, took off for home.

Burns saw Pierce and changed direction towards home plate. As Pierce raced for the plate, Burns double clutched and threw late to the plate as Pierce crossed home.

"We planned for a forced balk situation with two strikes on the hitter and Austin (Williams) hadn't looked good on the breaking ball," said Self. "So we thought we would try and catch their pitcher napping a little bit. We tried to force a balk and he almost did, but he stepped off. Once you get in the rundown situation you are just trying to steal the guy from third. The pitcher double clutched and threw it away. If he didn't double clutch our runner is probably out at the plate. Sometimes you get lucky. You just try and catch a team in a situation in which they are not expecting the play."

Lambert stuck out the side in the seventh to give Sikeston the victory over Doniphan 3-1.

Scott led Sikeston offensively going 2-for-3.

Droddy, Box and Baker all had one hit apiece for the Bulldogs.

Sikeston (14-10) will face Notre Dame in the semifinals today at 4 p.m. Notre Dame defeated Fredericktown 6-4 to advance.

Sikeston 3, Doniphan 1

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WP - Nick Lambert

LP - Brandon Burns

2B - Scott Droddy (S)

Multiple hitters - Sikeston: Droddy

Records - Doniphan 12-4, Sikeston 14-10