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SHS stumbles in loss to Dexter

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

(Photo)
Dexter's Alex Rigazio (partially blocked) is congratulated by teammates.
DEXTER -- After an impressive victory against Reidland (Ky.) on Friday afternoon, it appeared the Sikeston baseball team was ready to turn the corner.

But instead, Sikeston has taken a couple strides backwards as they suffered their fourth straight loss on Monday, 8-4 to Dexter at East City Park.

The Bulldogs had numerous costly mistakes in the field, committing four errors and a few others that go down as "mental mistakes" that weren't recorded as errors, but were just as devastating.

The Bulldogs fall to 5-7 on the season and 3-3 in the SEMO Conference. Even worse, Sikeston is now 0-2 against district opponents with a tough game at Kennett coming up tomorrow at 4 p.m.

Monday's victory marks Dexter's first against Sikeston since 1997, Bulldog coach Kevin Self's first year with the team.

(Photo)
Dexter's Tyler Moore slides in safely as Chase Ferrell awaits the throw.
But it was a sweet victory for Dexter coach Brian Becker, marking his first win against the Bulldogs.

"It's the first time I've ever beat Sikeston as head coach," said Becker. "I told the guys after the game on Friday against Scott City that I wanted this one bad. It's a good win for our program."

It wasn't picturesque for the Bearcats as they too had troubles in the field, committing four errors in the game, three of which led to runs.

But Dexter's hitting, and Sikeston's miscues, made up for it.

"They hit the ball well, but we gave them several -- we had some balls that should've been caught," said Self. "It's starting to spiral and we've got to get a hold of it. We've got to get a lot of things corrected. The way we looked Friday I thought we were ready to come alive. But then we had a bad day on Saturday.

"Today wasn't a real bad day, but we just didn't catch it. I'm not sure what all's going on. We're not getting good jumps, we're not tracking it well. We overran several. We had five or six different plays that should've been made."

Alex Rigazio got things going with a three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning that banged off the top of the left field fence, and bounced over.

One pitch earlier, Sikeston had a chance at a double play but an error kept everybody safe.

"Gonzo's normally our third baseman and his back's been ailing him a little bit but not enough to keep him out of the lineup," said Becker of Rigazio. "He stepped up there and hit the big 3-run homer for us to get us going."

Sikeston responded in the top of the third inning as Jerod Scott was hit by a pitch and Tyler Baker and Chase Ferrell reached on back to back errors. Scott scored on a wild pitch while Nick Lambert drove home Baker with a one-out single to cut the lead to 3-2.

But Sikeston ended up stranding the bases loaded for the second time. The Bulldogs left 12 base runners stranded in the game.

"We didn't take advantage of our opportunities," said Self. "When you leave the bases loaded twice in the first three innings, you know that things are not going to be good for you. You've got to score more than that. With that many on base, somebody's gotta get a hit and we just didn't have it."

Dexter extended the lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the third. Tyler Moore had a two-run single and Logan Swindle had a run-scoring single. However, the Bulldogs got out of the inning when right fielder Dustin Barker gunned down Rigazio trying to score at home plate.

Dexter pushed the lead to 8-2 off a couple more defensive mistakes.

Sikeston got back the two runs in the top of the sixth with an RBI-single by Scott and a bases-loaded walk by Ferrell. But the Bulldogs left the bases loaded for the third time with the go-ahead run at the plate.

Josh Stevens was the winning pitcher for Dexter, throwing 5 2/3 innings and allowing five runs off five hits with six walks and two hit batters. He struck out four.

"Josh has thrown well for me all year," said Becker. "He's had a couple tough luck losses. He threw well against Notre Dame and didn't get the 'W.' But today he threw strikes and mixed it up."

Moore pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. He struck out two and walked one.

Lambert was the losing pitcher, throwing 3 2/3 innings and allowing eight runs off six hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

Sikeston was led by Lambert's two hits. The Bulldogs managed just five hits in the game.

Drew Pixley led Dexter with two doubles. Logan Swindle also had two hits.

"We've been struggling all year long in hitting and we kind of busted out a little bit against Scott City the other day," said Becker. "I was glad to see we kept hitting the ball."

Dexter will host Charleston on Wednesday.

Sikeston's J.V. team ended its game with Dexter in a 5-5 tie on Monday.

Sikeston (2-4-1) saw Cody Anderson and Tyler Dame each collect two hits with an RBI. Josh Pierce, Vince Howard, Seth Baker, Justin Brandon, Stan Ivie and Clayton Mayfield each had one hit. Baker, Ivie and Mayfield each had an RBI.

Dame pitched five innings and allowed five runs off four hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Anderson pitched two scoreless innings in relief.