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Friday, Sep. 19, 2014

N.D. wins battle of 'Dogs

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

(Photo)
Sikeston junior Jerod Scott delivers a pitch.
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldogs baseball team fell back to .500 on the season as they were defeated by Notre Dame 3-0 on Monday in a makeup game at VFW Stadium.

The two teams combined for six hits, but Notre Dame took advantage of several defensive miscues by the Bulldogs to pull out the victory.

Sikeston falls to 3-3 on the season and 2-2 in the SEMO Conference. Notre Dame improves to 6-2 and 2-1 in league play.

Sikeston will play at Poplar Bluff today in anotherSEMO Conference game.

Sikeston's best chance to score came in the bottom of the first inning. Tyler Baker doubled into the left centerfield gap, but Jerod Scott, who was on first base, slipped and didn't get a good jump.

The next batter, Cody Black, popped out on the next pitch. Sikeston didn't get a runner on third the rest of the day.

Notre Dame hurler Anthony Wulfers wasn't dominant, but he made Sikeston put the ball in play.

Wulfers went the distance, allowing three hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

"He's been our most consistent pitcher all year long," said Notre Dame coach Jeff Graviett. "He's a senior and he doesn't play any other sports, so he's been able to concentrate on baseball. He stepped up and did a great job on the mound."

Sikeston had solid contact on many balls, but with the wind blowing in, most were hung up in the outfield for easy outs. Nine of Sikeston's 21 outs were tall fly balls or pop ups.

"He just threw the ball in there for strikes and we just didn't hit it," said Sikeston coach Kevin Self. "We hit a lot of flyballs and we hit some pretty hard balls. But we couldn't find the holes. We're not as talented a hitting team as we've been in the past so we've got to find other ways to score. We had some base running mistakes and some other mental errors that hurt us."

Notre Dame got on the board in the top of the third inning when Lucas Dirnberger doubled home Kirk Boeller, who had walked. Jacob Essner than reached on an error setting up first and third with one out.

Dirnberger eventually scored when Scott tried to pick off Essner, but threw the ball away to increase the lead to 2-0.

The play was designed to be a double-steal attempt. Scott actually played it correctly as he held Dirnberger on third and ran towards Essner, but his throw was errant.

"We've been aggressive all year and we've got some team speed, and with a team as young as they are, we're going to make them make plays," said Graviett.

Sikeston had another rally going in the bottom of the third when Scott Droddy singled and then Josh Jackson bunted for a hit. But Droddy was thrown out trying to advance to third. Sikeston's next two batters flew out to end the inning.

Notre Dame pushed the lead to 3-0 in the top of the fifth when Jake Wengert singled, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on an error.

"We booted too many today," said Self.

"Jerod really threw well. He was the biggest positive of today's game. Other than our pitcher, we didn't do any phase of the game well enough to win. And we will have to get better in every phase if we are going to beat anybody that's any good."

Scott threw all seven innings, allowing three hits with on walk and four strikeouts. Only one of his three runs was earned.

Sikeston committed four errors and had a couple other defensive lapses with miscommunication on pop ups.

Notre Dame committed just one error.

With a lineup dotted with sophomores and juniors, Graviett thinks Sikeston is bound to improve as the season progresses.

"They've got a young squad and it's evident," said Graviett. "But they're going to get better as the season goes. They had some trouble with the breaking pitch, but they'll be able to work that out by the end of the season as they see it more often."