HEATH, Ky. -- Sikeston dropped its final two games in the McCracken County Wood Bat Tournament on Saturday.
In the first game, a strong Calloway County (Murray, Ky.) team shut out the Bulldogs 9-0, then, in the nightcap, Heath (Ky.), the home school, edged the Bulldogs 4-3. Sikeston managed only three hits in the two games.
"The two pitchers we saw Saturday threw extremely hard and they knew how to pitch," said Sikeston coach Kevin Self. "We were overmatched, especially with wood bats in our hands."
Calloway County starter McCuiston limited the Bulldogs to just two hits, Scott Droddy's triple and Jerod Scott's single.
"He (McCuiston) had a good change-up, breaking ball and fastball," said Self. "He carved us up pretty good."
McCuiston fanned 10 and walked none in the complete-game effort.
Scott took the loss. He was charged with six runs on four hits with four strikeouts, four walks and two hit batsmen in five innings.
"He threw pretty good," said Self, "but he was behind in the count a lot." Cody Black relieved over the final two innings, giving up three runs on two hits with one walk and no strikeouts.
In the nightcap, Sikeston collected a single hit to go with 13 strikeouts yet rallied from a 3-0 deficit with three unearned runs in the top of the seventh to tie Heath.
Heath, however, pushed across a run in the bottom of the inning for a 4-3 win.
Dustin Barker, who stroked the Bulldogs' lone hit, took the pitching loss. He allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits with three strikeouts and two walks in six-plus innings.
Despite the losses, Self glimpsed a silver lining in the pitching efforts of Barker and two other starters.
"We found some guys that threw the heck out of the ball this weekend for us," said Self. "Garrett Limbaugh, Joey Williams and Dustin Barker were all very impressive. I thought our pitching was the most positive thing that happened all weekend."
While Sikeston fell to 5-5 with the 1-3 tournament mark, Self acknowledged his young Bulldogs are still very much a work in progress.
"We're learning," he said. "We knew going in that it was going to take some time. We're still in a learning stage. Going over there and playing those quality teams will help us in the long run.
"We'll continue to go to the tournament. I know this year we didn't match up very well but, in years past, we have. We're real young and, hopefully, next year we'll match up a little better."
Sikeston visits Dexter today at 4 p.m.