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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Short-handed Post 114 falls to D.C.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sikeston second baseman Garrett Limbaugh tries to turn a double play.
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Senior Legion Post 114 baseball team is biding its time with the hope that the full roster will return for next week's district tournament.

In the meantime, Post 114 is taking games on the chin. This time it was Dunklin County taking its turn, pounding Sikeston 13-5 on Thursday night at VFW Stadium.

Down to 11 players, Post 114 has lost four straight district games after holding the early lead in the standings. Sikeston is now 16-15 on the season and 3-5 in the district, which ties them with Dunklin County (22-15).

The district tournament will start on Monday at Capaha Field in Cape Girardeau, but the bracket had not been finalized as of press time.

Sikeston is hoping that several players, including key pitchers, will return from vacations and other obligations before the tournament starts.

Sikeston's Austin Williams slides into second.
"If we get our team here and our pitching set up, we can beat any team in this district," said Sikeston coach Todd Baker. "We've beaten every team in the district, except Cape, who we played tough. When we get everybody back, we'll compete with anybody in this district. We just have to have our heads in the game, play errorless defense and throw strikes."

Unfortunately for Post 114, that didn't happen Thursday.

Sikeston committed four errors and gave up seven walks and a hit batter.

Dunklin County took full advantage of the miscues, pounding out 12 hits to put even more pressure on the thin Sikeston pitching staff.

"We've got people playing out of position and we just have no pitching depth," said Baker.

Sikeston actually started well, turning a double play in the top of the first inning and scoring a pair of runs on Josh Jackson's RBI-triple and Seth Baker's run-scoring single in the bottom half.

But it didn't last as Sikeston hurler Matt Ritch went through control issues in the third inning. Chip Smith scored on a wild pitch and then Jeremy Patton gave Dunklin County a 4-2 lead with a bases-clearing double. Patton eventually scored on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 5-2.

Dunklin County's Dustin Hunter had an RBI-single in the fourth, Matt Bader drew a bases-loaded walk and another run scored on an error to push the lead to 8-2.

"I thought we swung the bats pretty well, but we're still not hitting it the way I think we're capable," said Dunklin County coach Jamie Johnson. "All in all it was a productive day. We scored 13 runs -- I'm happy with that."

Sikeston's Stan Ivie briefly stopped the bleeding with a solo home run to right field in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the score to 8-3.

A two-run single by Patton in the top of the fifth gave Dunklin a 10-3 advantage. Smith had an RBI-single in the sixth. Dunklin County tacked on three more runs in an error-filled seventh for Sikeston.

Post 114 scored a pair of runs on Ivie's bloop single to left field to reach the final margin.

Dunklin County's Shane Branum was the winning pitcher in seven innings of work. He allowed five earned runs off 10 hits with three strikeouts and four walks and a hit batter.

"I actually didn't think Shane had his good stuff today," said Johnson. "But he did throw a lot of strikes and he kept us in the ballgame. Defensively I didn't think we played very well tonight. We've got to get better."

Dunklin County committed three fielding errors in the game.

Ritch took the loss for Sikeston.

Dunklin County's Smith went 3-3 with three runs. Patton went 2-4 with five RBIs. Taylor Laden (3-3, 2 runs), Hunter (1-4, RBI, 3 runs), Bader (double, RBI) and Kaleb Canoy (2 runs) all were big contributors in the D.C. offensive attack.

Sikeston was led by Ivie's two hits and three RBIs. Jackson also had a double in the game. Tyler Scott added two doubles. Austin Williams (2-5, run, two steals) and Josh Stevens (1-2, 2 walks) also contributed.

Sikeston's scheduled season-finale against DeSoto on Saturday has been canceled.

Dunklin County will finish its regular season with a doubleheader at Batesville (Ark.) on Saturday.

Johnson is hoping to keep the momentum going.

"I've had bunches that went into the district with a one seed and I've had bunches that went in with other seeds -- the district tournament is wide open," said Johnson. "Who knows who's going to win that thing. Whoever's hot at the right time -- hopefully we're starting to get hot at the right time."