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Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

'Dogs slip past Charleston

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

(Photo)
Sikeston's Josh Jackson is called safe as crosses home plate.
SIKESTON -- Tuesday afternoon's baseball game between Sikeston and Charleston had more momentum shifts than some teams may see in a season.

But in the end, Sikeston dealt the final blow as they won 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning on Scott Droddy's walk-off single.

It was more of a sigh of relief for the Bulldogs than celebration as they let a 2-0 lead slip away in the top of the seventh as a couple errors gave the Bluejays hope.

Charleston managed to grab a 4-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. Sikeston loaded the bases with two outs, but the Charleston second baseman couldn't handle a hard groundball from Droddy.

Two runs crossed the plate as Droddy beat out the throw and Josh Jackson, running hard from the crack of the bat, scored from second.

(Photo)
Charleston's Nick Johnson slides around the tag of Scott Droddy.
"That ball was hit hard and Scott runs well and Josh never hesitated and that's why he scored," said Sikeston coach Kevin Self. "That was a good job in base running on Josh Jackson's part."

Charleston never seriously threatened the score in the next two innings. Sikeston blew an opportunity in the bottom of the eighth on a failed squeeze bunt attempt.

They didn't let it slip away in the ninth though. Jackson led off with a sharp single to left field. Two batters later, Andrew Box drew a walk to put runners on first and second.

Droddy then stepped to the plate and laced a single in the right centerfield gap, easily scoring Jackson from second to pull out the victory.

For Charleston (3-8), it was another tough, bitter loss.

(Photo)
Sikeston's Andrew Box makes a sliding attempt to catch a ball.
"They had the advantage of being the home team -- that's the story of our season so far," said Charleston coach Chris Stanfield. "That's our sixth one-

run loss and the fourth time we've lost the game in the bottom of an inning. It would've been the best win we've had since I've been head coach -- by far. The only thing better than beating Sikeston would be winning a district championship. It would've been a nice feather in the cap."

The game was a complete turnaround from the 28-0, no-hitter that Sikeston put on the Bluejays last year.

The Bulldogs (7-8) only had eight hits in the game as Charleston pitcher Billy Butler was able to induce numerous flyball outs.

"We've been struggling hitting the ball and we struggled this game," said Self. "We just kept popping it up. He was just thumping that little breaking ball up there and we just kept swinging from our heels and popping things up. We couldn't stay back and we'd get out on our front foot. We never could make adjustments."

The Bulldogs had 12 flyball outs in the game. They also had troubles with some of the small things according to Self.

"We made just too many mental mistakes," said Self. "We're not running on pop ups with two outs. You've got to run those things out. There were many times we could've taken extra bases. We missed some signs. We didn't get some bunts down in key situations. That's what we've been harping on since the beginning of the year. We'll have one good game, and then we go backwards and we can't get two or three consecutive good games in a row. We've got three weeks to figure it out."

Sikeston grabbed the early lead in the bottom of the first when Chase Ferrell blooped a single into left field to score Tyler Baker from second. The Bulldogs scored again in the second as Jerod Scott's sacrifice fly brought home Jackson.

Charleston's offense was stifled by Bulldog hurler Dustin Barker, who threw six shutout innings before being lifted in the seventh after allowing a single and an error.

Garrett Limbaugh pitched to three batters, striking out one, allowing a single and a bases loaded walk.

Self then brought in Droddy, who left the game earlier in the inning when a ground ball took a bad hop into his face.

But the injury didn't seem to faze him as he ended up getting the win, throwing 2 2/3 shutout innings of relief. He struck out four, walked two and allowed one hit.

Barker allowed five hits and one walk with four strikeouts.

Charleston's Paul Johnson drew the bases loaded walk to cut the lead to 2-1. Josh Marshall then scored on a wild pitch to tie things up. Nick Johnson gave the Bluejays the lead when he scored on a double-steal attempt. Droddy had Paul Johnson picked off but he couldn't connect with second baseman Austin Williams to record the out. The error allowed Nick Johnson to scurry home. Brink Naile gave the Bluejays some insurance with an RBI-single.

Naile was the hard-luck losing pitcher in relief.

Tommy Starr went 3-3 to lead the Charleston hit attack. Nick Johnson added two singles.

"I kind of feel for Charleston," said Self. "They've had a lot of these kinds of games go against them. I hate it for them because we really didn't play well enough to win today. They out-played us."

Droddy and Baker each had two hits for the Bulldogs.

Sikeston will play at Fredericktown tomorrow at 4 p.m. and will host Farmington on Friday at 4 p.m.

Charleston will host the Mississippi County Wood Bat Tournament. The Bluejays will host Blytheville (Ark.) at 3:30 on Friday afternoon.