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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Post 114 falls in extra innings

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Dunklin County's Jeremy Patton prepares to apply the tag to Sikeston's Ryan Adams.
SIKESTON -- It took 11 innings and more than three and a half hours, but Dunklin County Legion Post 303 outlasted Sikeston Post 114 for a 7-4 victory in district action on Wednesday evening at VFW Stadium.

With the victory, Dunklin County secured the top seed in the district tournament in July as they finished with a 3-1 mark. Scott County also finished with a 3-1 record, but Dunklin County will have the top seed by virtue of its victory in head-to-head competition.

Sikeston (7-7) has now lost three straight games and finished district competition with an 0-4 record.

But despite the loss, Sikeston coach Todd Baker was pleased to see his team show some improvement from its previous outings.

"That's the game that these kids can play all the time," said Baker. "It took a little bit of some excitement to get the intensity and passion for the game where it needs to be all the time. We had opportunities to win it, but it just didn't happen. We were in it down to the wire so what more can you ask for?"

Sikeston's Josh Stevens throws a pitch.
Dunklin County (11-7) out-hit Sikeston 14-6 in the game, but Post 114 had a golden chance to steal the victory in the bottom of the eighth inning.

With runners on first and second, Drew Pixley tied the game at 4-4 with a one-out bloop single down the left field line to bring in Josh Stevens.

But relief pitcher Heath Storey was able to get Dustin Barker to hit into a 6-4

-3 double play to get out of the jam.

Neither team could score in the ninth and it was on to extra innings.

Sikeston had another chance to win the game in the 10th inning when Jordan Kimball reached on an error and made it to second with two outs. But Storey again got out of trouble by striking out Scott Droddy.

With runners on second and third in the top of the 11th, Dunklin County's Dustin Hunter came through with the clutch two-out bloop hit to left field to bring in two runs.

Left fielder Joey Williams' throw to home sailed over the catcher's head, allowing Hunter to move up to second. The next batter, Chip Smith, then singled to center field to bring in Hunter for more insurance.

"Here lately, Dustin has been the one that's been winning the game for us," said Dunklin County coach Jamie Johnson. "In our last five games, he's had about three or four the hits that ended it. Right now he's just hot. I was kind of glad to see him up there with two outs."

After Tyler Baker's two-out single in the bottom of the 11th, Sikeston had the tying run on deck, but Storey got Ryan Adams to hit into a fielder's choice to secure the victory.

Storey ended up getting the win on the mound with 3 2/3 innings of relief. He allowed no runs or walks, two hits and struck out four.

Adams was saddled with the loss in relief. He threw three innings, allowing three runs (two earned) off four hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

Both starting pitchers, Sikeston's Josh Stevens and Dunklin County's Jimmy Cornell, threw well in getting no-decisions.

"It was a well-pitched game by both sides," said Baker. "There weren't many errors. It was just a good, entertaining game. Both pitchers went a long ways. The Dexter native Stevens lasted eight-plus innings, allowing four runs (three earned) off 10 hits with 10 strikeouts and four walks.

"I had to have Josh go deep like that -- I had to have it," said Baker. "It helped me out tremendously because we're short on pitching right now."

Cornell, a Twin Rivers graduate that has signed with Three Rivers Community College, threw 7 1/3 innings, allowing four runs (one earned) off just four hits. The left-hander struck out seven and walked seven.

"I thought Stevens threw the ball great -- he threw a lot of strikes and had us off-balance with a good breaking ball tonight," said Johnson. "I think Jimmy is still trying to find his way. He's not real comfortable here yet, but he's getting there."

Dunklin County took the lead in the top of the third inning on Kenny Abernathy's two-run single.

Post 303 extended the lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning when Sikeston's Baker misplayed a high pop fly at first base, allowing Jeremy Patton to score.

The lead was pushed to 4-0 in the sixth inning on Bubba Hughes' double to bring in Patton.

Sikeston broke the shutout with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Cornell loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter. Seth Baker came through with an RBI-single, but two more runs scored when Dunklin threw the ball away trying to nab a runner advancing to third.

Pixley's single in the eighth tied the game.

Sikeston's only multiple hitter was Droddy, who singled twice. Pixley, Tyler and Seth Baker and Stevens each had one hit.

Hunter led Dunklin County with three hits, including a double. Hughes added a pair of doubles. Smith, Abernathy and Jeremy and Anthony Patton each collected two singles. Jeremy Patton had three runs scored.

Sikeston will host DeSoto on Sunday at 3 p.m.

"Sikeston has some kids out right now," said Johnson. "I know they've got a few at Boys State, a few kids hurt. The Kimball kid has a little elbow injury and that's one of their pitchers. It's a struggle enough with a full roster. When you're playing with a few bullets shy, it's tough.

"But I thought they played a heck of a ballgame. They battled us for 11 innings. You can't say enough about their program. Todd's done a good job and they're always a classy act at Sikeston."