(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
NEW MADRID -- Three home runs by Dexter's bottom of the order highlighted an explosive offensive afternoon for the Bearcats as they defeated the New Madrid County Central Eagles 18-7.
"The lowest part of our lineup really came through today," Dexter coach Brian Becker said. "They have that potential. I was really pleased to see them swing the bat well."
Corbin Matthews, Landon Hall and Josh Overall went yard for the Bearcats, batting fifth sixth and eighth respectively.
After the two teams came in to the third inning with a 1-1 tie, Dexter broke out with six runs in the frame, capped by a three-run shot to center by designated hitter Hall and followed two batters later by third baseman Josh Overall sending a one-run blast over the left field fence.
Though the Eagles answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, the Bearcats would maintain a comfortable lead for the rest of the contest, outscoring NMCC 11-4 in the final four frames.
"I thought we did swing the bats a little better today," Becker said. "You have to give credit to New Madrid. They got down and they're a winless ball club and could have easily given up, but they didn't.
"Coach (John) Jones should be proud of his kids because of the way they fought and battled today."
All nine Dexter starters had a hit on the afternoon with starting pitcher Ben Mills and first baseman Matthews each contributing two.
Mills ended up picking up his first win of the season as well, going 2 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and three runs while striking out three.
While happy to get the win, Mills said he would have liked to have been able to pitch a little further in to the ball game.
"I felt alright the first couple of innings," he said. "After that I lost my control and walked three or four in the third inning. Definitely leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.
"You want to go five innings, especially when you want to go as long as you can so it leaves other guys to throw like Brandon (Stoker) and (Alex) Cliff,"
On an afternoon in which NMCC had 12 hits, first baseman Gabe Smith and starting pitcher Josh Reed both put up three, while second baseman Collin Ivie collected two.
Freshman Reed ended up with the loss, putting him at 0-1 on the season. He went 2 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and seven runs while striking out three.
With the Eagle's only losing their last two games by a run each, NMCC assistant coach Joseph McClarty credits defensive misplays early in contest in leading to the lopsided score.
"We just made too many mistakes today," he said. "We came out in the first series of the game and we had a miscommunication on a pop fly and had an error on the right fielder and second baseman.
"We came back and tied (the game) up, but then we just kind of snowballed there in the middle of the game and we just never got it back."
NMCC (0-8) kicks off the Malden Baseball Tournament today, playing Oran in the first round at 4 p.m.
Next up for Dexter (6-2) is a doubleheader with visiting Twin Rivers this Saturday starting at 10 a.m.
Dexter 106 240 5 - 18
NMCC 102 030 1 - 7
WP -- Ben Mills (1-2). LP -- Josh Reed (0-1). Multiple Hits -- Mills, (D), 2-4, Corbin Matthews, (D), 2-5, Collin Ivie, (N), 2-5, Gabe Smith, (N), 3-3, Josh Reed, (N), 3-4. Extra-base hits -- 2B: Matthews, (D), Sam Barnett, (N), Jimmy Ash, (N); HR: Matthews, (D), Landon Hall, (D), Josh Overall, (D).