Unit 114''s solid hitting combined with numerous errors and subpar pitching by Scott County Unit 369 resulted in runs piling up early in the contest. The defending district champions showed that they have a long way to go if they''re to follow the success of last year''s team.
"Scott County is a little down this year," said Sikeston head coach Jeff Limbaugh. "Coach Umfleet does a good job, and that team will get better every time they play. We''re just lucky that we hit the ball and come out with a good win."
"It was a good old fashioned butt-kicking," Scott County head coach Mike Umfleet said. "We didn''t make plays, the pitchers didn''t throw strikes and they hit the ball well. It''s one of those games you like to end as quickly as you can."
The game started off in Sikeston''s favor when starting pitcher Nick Lambert forced an inning-ending double play after giving up a one-out walk in the top of the first. Lambert would go on to hold Unit 369 to five runs (three earned) through four innings, striking out three and walking seven.
"Nick threw a good game," said Limbaugh. "He hadn''t pitched in a while, but he threw well. He threw strikes and let his defense play, and we got a couple double plays to help him out."
The bottom of the first started off with a walk by Austin Williams off of Scott County southpaw pitcher Augi Orr.
After Kody Campbell''s flyout, Josh Jackson and Dillon Harris both reached on errors.
Nick Lambert knocked Williams home on a fielder''s choice at second, and a base hit by Garrett Limbaugh sent Jackson in to score for the final run of the inning.
Scott County fared better in the top of the second when Brad Daugherty and Orr led off the inning with a hit each. After Freed''s sacrifice bunt and Faulkner''s walk, Daugherty scored on Hye''s fielder''s choice.
Orr and Hye scored the second and third runs of the inning after a fielding error, but Scott County couldn''t bring in anymore.
Sikeston blew the game wide open in their half of the second after accumulating eight runs on just three hits. Josh Jackson''s base hit sent the first two runners across the plate.
After errors, hit batters and walks brought in four more, Caleb Seyer tacked on the final two of the inning with a two-run single, which would knock Scott County''s starting pitcher out of the game before he could finish his second inning of work, giving him the loss.
"Umfleet threw a curveball pitcher at us," said Limbaugh. "We stayed back and hit the ball well. We jumped on him early. It just seemed that everybody caught on fire. People that haven''t been hitting the ball got hits for us."
Unit 114 added insult to injury when they shelled pitcher Nick Ostendorff for 11 more runs (seven earned) in the third. The inning was highlighted by Nick Lambert''s two-run triple and both Chase Ferrell''s and Harris'' two-run singles.
They then continued the pounding in the fourth when they answered Scott County''s two-run inning with seven of their own off pitcher Chris Asmus.
Pitcher Paul Bucher capped off the impressive victory for Sikeston when he retired three in a row in the fifth and final inning.
For both teams, this was the first district game of the season, and to win in such a dominant fashion was clearly a huge boost for the Sikeston squad.
"Any district game is a big win," Limbaugh said. "It''s our first district game and it''s good to get that first win.''
Scott County Post 369''s coach chalked up the stunning loss to giving Sikeston too many chances to score by committing errors.
"When we have chances to get out of innings and we''re giving them five to six outs, they''re going to score some runs," Umfleet said. "That''s what they did."
Sikeston junior legion was led offensively by big days from Garrett Limbaugh (3-3, 2 RBIs, 3 runs, walk, HBP, BB) and Austin Williams (2-3, RBI, 3 runs, SB). Ferrell and Chase Seyer contributed with three RBIs and three runs a piece, Cody Anderson and Nick Lambert chipped in three RBIs each, while Seth Baker reached home three times in the game.
Scott County''s big offensive players were Daugherty (2-3, RBI, run) and Gaddis (1-1, RBI, run, two walks).