(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- With Tyler Anderson on the mound giving Sikeston seven innings of shut out baseball, the Bulldogs have now won three in-a-row after blanking the visiting Farmington Knights 9-0 on Friday.
"I felt great," Anderson said. "It just felt like I could throw anything today."
Though he only struck out four batters on the afternoon, two of those came when he needed them the most.
After getting the lead-off hitter to ground out in the first, Anderson hit a batter before allowing two singles to load the bases.
Looking at what could be a rough start for the Bulldogs, Anderson controlled the damage by striking out Farmington's Connor Davault and Alex Pinkson to end the inning.
"That was a key part to the game," Sikeston's coach Kevin Self said. "He knew he needed to go get a strikeout. Once he got the first one, then the second one just kind of set up."
Anderson would sail through the next six innings, retiring 13 batters in-a-row at one point while only allowing two more hits to collect his third win on the season.
The Bulldog's offense gave Anderson plenty of run support getting things rolling in the bottom of the second.
Following a walk and an error leaving runners on first and third, the designated hitter, Nathan Rodgers, doubled to left, scoring Jason Isaacs giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
In the third came Sikeston's biggest outburst of the night as the Bulldogs scored five in the frame, highlighted by No. 7 hitter Trent McMillan's second home run of the season, a three-run drive to left that easily cleared the fence.
"I went up and swung the bat and it just happened that way," McMillan said. "(The pitch) was pretty much right down the middle."
Sikeston would go on to score one in the fifth and two in the sixth to make up the final score.
In all, eight of the ten Bulldogs who stepped to the plate collected a hit, with Rodgers leading the team going 3-for-3 with a double.
This makes back-to-back games the Bulldogs have put up 10 hits against their opponents, the previous time being Thursday's 5-2 win over Fredricktown.
With his team executing solidly both at the plate and in the field, Self was proud of his team's performance.
"That's the best quality game we played from the first pitch to the last pitch," he said. "We made one mistake, a throwing error, and that's going to happen.
"Our pitcher threw strikes and didn't walk anybody. Defensively we made plays and that's all you can ask. If you do that you should be able to beat most teams."
Sikeston now stands at 10-5, roughly mid-way through the season.
They have already eclipsed last year's win total, when they went 9-12 finishing the year with a loss in districts to North County.
Self said he's seen improvement in his squad as the season has rolled on.
"I knew we would be a little better and we're playing like that now," he said. "We're starting to grow, starting to kind of feel in our holes and figure out where guys are gonna play and we're starting to gel a little bit."
Sikeston was scheduled to play De Smet on Saturday, weather permitting.
Farmington 000 000 0 - 0
Sikeston 015 012 x - 9
WP -- Tyler Anderson (3-0). LP -- Logan Bradley. Multiple hits -- Josh Gann, (F), 2-3, Nathan Rodgers, (S), 3-3. Extra-base hits -- 2B -- Gann, (F), Jason Issacs, (S), Rodgers, (S), Luke Keefer, (S); 3B -- Cody Rice, (S); HR -- Trent McMillan (S).