(Photos by Josh Mills, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Junior Babe Ruth team defeated the Missouri state champions, SEMO South, 9-2 on Sunday afternoon giving Sikeston a chance to win the Midwest Plains Regional on Monday.
Tyler Anderson, who was on the hill for Sikeston, got the win against SEMO South throwing 134 pitches in seven innings. Anderson gave up two runs (both earned) on five hits and six walks. He also struck out seven during his work.
"He wanted the ball" Sikeston head coach Rod Anderson said about his hurler on the mound. "I've got to respect him for that. I know he threw a lot of pitches but he wanted to finish it and I'm glad he did. I like to see that kind of heart in him."
Anderson had plenty of run support after the second inning. That's when Sikeston exploded for seven of their nine runs on only three hits.
Brandon Goodwin brought the first run in on a bases-loaded ground ball that was misplayed by the infield for an error. The next batter, Josh Hampton, worked a bases-loaded walk to score the second run of the inning.
Anderson helped his own cause later in the inning with a two-run single to left field and then a wild pitch scored Cord Sheehy for the fifth run of the inning.
Murphy sent a two-run home run over the left field wall to make it a seven-run game.
"That was obviously the key to the game," coach Anderson said about the seven run inning. "We knew that if we got them down early we could probably finish them off."
SEMO South put their two runs across in the top of the third inning in an effort to try and come back.
Michael Hess and Gabe Felter connected for back-to-back RBI singles that scored Dustin Johnson and Cody Moore. Felter's single continued to keep the bases loaded for the Missouri state champs but they failed to bring in another run.
"When this team gets down it's hard for them to get themselves going again," Missouri head coach David Felter said. "But, we had chances to get back in it several times."
SEMO also stranded the bases loaded in the seventh inning.
Michael Hess received the loss for SEMO South in 1 2/3 innings pitched. Hess gave up seven runs (five earned) on three hits and three walks. He aslo struck out two.
Moore, who came in for relief of Hess, pitched the remainder of the game giving up the two runs (both unearned) on two hits and two walks. He also struck out four.
Missouri will now have to fight their way back from the loser's bracket to have a chance to play in the Regional championship while the host team, Sikeston, is right where they wanted to be.
"Everything kind of fell into place," coach Anderson said about heading into the championship game. "I'm setting back up with my number one again with Trey Tigart on the mound. No matter who we get I think he's going to be ready. I think he'll come back and do a phenomenal job like he did the first night."
Sikeston will face the winner of the Missouri (SEMO South) vs. Parsons, Kan./Tonka, Minn. today at 3:30 p.m. The play-in game will begin at 1 p.m. at VFW Stadium.