(Photo by Chris Moore, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldog baseball team overcame a three-run deficit and scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat SEMO Conference foe Jackson 9-8 on Thursday at VFW Stadium.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases with three straight two-out walks and were able to plate the winning run on Jerod Scott's slow roller towards the pitcher, Ryan Cheney, who fielded it but threw it wild to first.
Chase Ferrell came from third to score the winning run.
"There was a lot of excitement and a lot of offense," Sikeston coach Kevin Self. "That's a big win for us because if we lose that one we might fall in the middle of the pack in the conference."
Self said he suspected Cheney may have trouble with Scott's hit because of the awkward throwing angle he had to first.
"That guy's normally a first baseman and he had to rush it," Self said. "Jerod got out of the box quick. There would've been a play at the plate, but Chase got a great jump at third. He had to turn to try to avoid hitting Jerod with his throw and he threw it too high."
Sikeston (9-2, 4-1 SEMO) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning only to see Jackson respond with six runs in the top of the second inning highlighted by Matt Lang's two-run home run that just cleared the right field fence to take the lead at 5-4. The Indians tacked on another run in the third to lead 7-4.
"We had the lead and everything was in our favor and then they just came out and hit the crap out of it," Self said. "Nick (Lambert) was up in the zone and they let him know in a hurry that that's not going to work. They swung it well and I expected that. I knew they were a good club."
Lambert was replaced after 1 2/3 innings, allowing six runs off six hits.
Garrett Limbaugh came in for relief and pitched well enough to quiet the Jackson sticks for a few innings.
"You have to tip your hat to (Limbaugh)," Jackson coach Rex Crosnoe said. "He came in and shut us down and kept us at bay."
Limbaugh threw four innings of relief, allowing two runs off five hits. He walked three and struck out one.
"Garrett did a good job of coming in and just keeping us in the game," Self said.
Sikeston tied it in the bottom of the fifth inning on pinch hitter Dustin Barker's RBI-double and Tyler Dame's pinch-hit two-run double.
"I pinch hit with Barker and Dame and that pretty much lit the fire for us because we got going after that," Self said.
Jackson (8-6, 4-2 SEMO) took the lead again at 8-7 in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly, but the Bulldogs tied it again with a sacrifice fly of their own.
Jackson had a golden opportunity to score in the top of the seventh, but Barker scooped up Rex Meyr's single to right field and threw out Lang trying to score from second.
"That's two he's made this year," Self said of Barker. "He threw out a kid against Marion. When the clutch is on he seems to have the good arm in right field. It was bang-bang. Chase tagged him pretty quick right on the back. I thought it was a good call."
Crosnoe said: "It was a great play and a great throw by their outfielder. We were going to make them throw us out and he did."
Sikeston's Scott was the winning pitcher with just a 1/3 of an inning pitched. Meyr was the only batter he faced.
In the bottom of the seventh, Sikeston's Stan Ivie drew a leadoff walk to start the inning. The next batter, Barker, sent a screamer into the left centerfield gap, but Jackson centerfielder Austin Leimer made a sensational diving stop and was able to double off Josh Pierce, who was running for Ivie, at first base.
"It looked like we had some momentum going with nobody on and two outs, but then we got three straight walks," Crosnoe said. "When you do that and make those kind of errors you're not going to win many ballgames."
Caleb Guilliams took the loss in relief. He threw two innings, allowing two runs off one hit with four walks. Caleb Hosey started on the hill for the Indians and was pulled after 4 2/3 innings. Cheney faced two batters in the seventh, walking one.
The Indians didn't help themselves, committing five errors in the game.
"That was kind of the nature of the whole game," Crosnoe said. "There were a lot of errors. We've got to execute defensively or we're going to be lucky to be in ballgames. We don't have strikeout pitchers so we've got to make the plays."
Sikeston will host Notre Dame today at 4 p.m. in another SEMO Conference matchup.
Sikeston's J.V. team fell to Jackson 5-2. Sikeston (4-3) couldn't get much offense going with Vince Howard's solo home run and Jordan Williams' RBI-
single providing the only runs.
Logan Kirkpatrick took the loss in six innings of work, allowing five runs off nine hits with three walks.
Josh Carlyle threw one scoreless inning of relief.
Williams, Dylan Tangen and Carlyle each had two hits. Howard and Blair Bohannon had one hit apiece.
Sikeston 9, Jackson 8
WP - Jerod Scott. LP - Ryan Cheney. HR - Jackson: Matt Lang. 2B - Jackson: Taylor Busch. Sikeston: Seth Baker, Dustin Barker, Tyler Dame. Multiple hitters - Jackson: Luke Crader 3-5, Rex Meyr 2-5, Busch 2-3, Lang 2-4. Sikeston: none. Records - Sikeston 9-2. Jackson 8-6.