With one out in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Bearcats trailing 3
-2, pinch hitter Alex Rigazio doubled to left field scoring Derrick Chamberlain to tie the game. After a intentional walk to leadoff hitter Drew Pixley, Logan Swindle promptly singled to drive in the game-winning run for Dexter.
"Whenever they walked Drew, Logan stepped up to the challenge," said Dexter head coach Brian Becker. "He made contact with the ball and got it out to right field and Taylor Joyner came around to score the game winner."
The win was especially sweet for the Bearcats who had a slow start to begin the game and had two starters on the bench nursing injuries.
Charleston starter Brink Naile held down Dexter through six innings, as the Bearcats scored two runs and had five hits. Shortstop Cole Smith and third baseman Rigazio were on the bench due to back injuries. Both players are offensive leaders for Dexter.
"Disappointed with the way we came out today," said Becker. "Think we had a letdown after getting a big win over Sikeston. Boys came out flat and it showed. We hit the ball hard all day, but they were a lot of 'at 'em' balls. Proud of the way we stepped up in the seventh inning and came back and got us a win."
As for Charleston, tough losses are starting to get old for the Bluejays.
"That is our sixth one-run loss," said Charleston head coach Chris Stanfield. "Hard to keep pumping the kids up because they played their butts off today. Can't ask them to play any better."
The Bluejays started the game out hot with a revamped lineup. Leadoff hitter Paul Johnson tripled to left-center and was driven in by Brink Naile, who singled on the next at bat for Charleston. Both Paul Johnson and Naile combined to get four of the five hits for the Bluejays.
"Trying to get a couple of guys going," said Stanfield. "We moved Nick Johnson down to the nine hole, just so he will see more fastballs. The No. 9 hitter they think he can't hit so they are going to pop fastballs to him. We keep moving Josh Marshall down trying to get him that one hit he needs to get going. Some other kids have been stepping up, so we decided to move them up in the lineup."
Dexter tied the game in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by Chamberlain. David Hessling scored the run after drawing a two-out walk and stole second base to get in scoring position for Chamberlain.
The Bluejays regained the lead on their next at bat in the top of the third. With one out, Paul Johnson singled and stole second base. Johnson got to third base on a wild pitch by the Bearcats. Naile hit a sacrifice fly to left field, to scored Johnson. After three innings of play, Charleston led 2-1.
Josh Stevens led off the bottom of the fourth and sent a pitch screaming over the left field wall for a home run for the Bearcats. The game was tied at two heading into the fifth.
Charleston broke the tie in the top of the fifth with an unearned run. Chase McClendon induced a one out walk for the Bluejays. After Nick Johnson struckout, Paul Johnson singled to move McClendon over to third base.
With two outs in the inning, Paul Johnson attempted to steal second base. The throw from the Dexter catcher to second base was wild and allowed McClendon to walk home from third base and put Charleston in the lead, 3-2. The score remained 3-2 in favor of Charleston to begin the top of the seventh. Tommy Starr led off for the Bluejays and singled. Marshall laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Starr over to second base.
McClendon came up next for Charleston and placed what appeared to be a run scoring fly in between the Dexter second baseman and the right fielder Swindle. However, Swindle made an unbelievable diving catch to rob McClendon of an RBI.
"Logan hadn't played right field that much," said Becker. "Tried to mix our lineup and found pretty good lineup in the Sikeston game. Thought I would keep the outfield the same and get some chemistry out there. Logan stepped up and made a heck of a play to in affect, save a big run for us."
With momentum fully in Dexter's corner after the Swindle catch, the Bearcats scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to take away the victory from the Bluejays.
"We battled hard all day and we were out in front of their pitcher," said Becker. "Their pitcher did a good job of mixing it up, but I am proud to come away with the win."
Chamberlain started the contest for Dexter and went four innings allowing three hits, two runs, walked a hitter and struckout four. Thomas Espey came in relief and pitched the remaining three innings for the win. Espey gave up two hits, no earned runs, walked one and struckout three.
"Espy came in and did a nice job for Dexter," said Stanfield. "We had a little trouble with his curve ball but give them credit, they got the two hits in the bottom of the seventh when they needed them."
Tyler Moore and Chamberlain led Dexter with two hits apiece. Chamberlain, Swindle, Stevens and Rigazio each drove in runs for the Bearcats.
Naile pitched a complete game for Charleston and was the hard luck loser for the Bluejays. Naile gave up eight hits, four runs, walked two and struckout five.
Paul Johnson went 3-for-3 scoring two runs and stole two bases for Charleston in the loss. Naile, besides the good pitching performance, went 1
-2 and had 2 RBIs.
"Both teams played fantastic defense," said Stanfield. "It was a well played game by both teams."
Charleston (3-7) travels to face rival Sikeston Bulldogs on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Dexter (5-3) traveled to Chaffee today with first pitch at 4 p.m.
Dexter 4, Charleston 3
WP - Thomas Espey
LP - Brink Naile
HR - Josh Stevens (D)
3B - Paul Johnson (C)
2B - Alex Rigazio (D)
Multiple hitters - Charleston: P. Johnson 3-3. Dexter: Tyler Moore 2-3, Derrick Chamberlain 2-3.
Records - Charleston 3-7, Dexter 5-3.
POPLAR BLUFF - The Oran Eagles gained a huge road win on Wednesday afternoon at Poplar Bluff, with a 6-1 win over the Mules.
Kody Campbell led the offensive attack for Oran going 2-for-4 with 4 RBIs. Campbell had a triple and double for his two hits. Austin Dumey also had two hits for the Eagles with an RBI.
Dumey notched the win for Oran on the mound. Logan Boles took the loss for the Mules.
Oran (8-1) will participate in the Midwest Classic Tournament over the weekend. The Eagles will face Riverview Gardens at 12:00 p.m. in their first game in pool play.
The Eagles will face St. Charles West in the second game of play at 2:00 p.m. Both contests will be played at St. Charles West.
Oran 6, Poplar Bluff 1
WP - Austin Dumey
LP - Logan Boles
3B - Kody Campbell (0)
2B - Campbell (O)
Multiple hitters - Oran: Campbell 2-4, Dumey 2-4.
Records - Oran 8-1.