(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
By Chris Pobst
SIKESTON -- A rough first outing for Sikeston Post 114 wasn't expected, but the first game of the season is figured to have it's share of bumps.
Post 114 was drilled 15-3 at VFW Memorial Stadium on Thursday evening by the Cape Girardeau Cherokees.
"That's a tough start right there," first-year head coach Matt Limbaugh said. "You have one practice and your expected to go in there and fight. The Cherokee's are a good team."
Things began to go south for Sikeston in the second inning when they surrendered seven runs. An RBI double by the Cherokees Brett Thomas got things rolling for the visitors. Later in the inning, three wild pitches from starter Ryan Kleffer scored three more runs while an RBI single by David Goering made it 7-0.
"We had a tough second inning," said Limbaugh," That kind of let the momentum down."
Post 114 answered with two runs in the bottom half of the second. A bases-loaded walk to Mikey Botkin pushed Kleffer across the plate for Sikeston's first run. One batter later, Bryan Freed reached on an error which scored Evan Underwood for the second run of the inning.
Nathan Rodgers touched home for Sikeston's final run of the game in the bottom of the third on an RBI double off the bat of Josh Boese.
The Cherokees scored two more runs in the fifth and then six more in the sixth highlighted by a grand slam from Thomas.
Although the final score was a bit more lopsided than Post 114 would have liked, there were a few bright spots.
The third, fourth and fifth innings showcased both Ross Carter and Ben Freed on the mound for Sikeston. Carter pitched a hitless third inning while Ben Freed allowed two unearned runs on two hits in the fourth and fifth innings.
"It was good how in the third, fourth and fifth we kind of shut them down," said Limbaugh. "We had some holes that our pitchers got out of.
"Ben (Freed) stepped up and threw well and so did Ross (Carter). So, you take those things that were positive and you work on that."
Boese had two of Sikeston's three hits, which were both singles, while Rodgers added a double. The Cherokees had nine hits on the day.
Sikeston's next game will be Saturday which will be a doubleheader at Dyersburg, Tenn., beginning at 1 p.m.
|Cape||070 026 0 -- 15|
|Sikeston||021 000 0 -- 3|
WP -- Brady Wright. LP -- Ryan Kleffer. Multiple hitters -- (C) Brett Thomas 2-3, JT Kratochvil 2-3; (S) Josh Boese 2-3. 2B -- (C) Thomas, Andrew Hileman, JP Huston; (S) Nathan Rodgers. HR -- (C) Thomas.
By Brent Shipman
SIKESTON -- With the Sikeston Post 114 Senior American Legion squad coming off a season where they only posted two wins, first-year coach Matt Limbaugh is optimistic this year they can turn things around.
"We should have a good mixture of area guys, some good talent that I've played against this year coaching for Scott Central," he said.
In his first year at the helm of Scott Central's baseball program Limbaugh guided the Braves to a school record-tying nine win season.
He'll be joined by Sikeston junior varsity coach Chris Crosby who will share the head coaching duties.
This year's squad will feature kids from six different area high schools, five from Sikeston including Nathan Rodgers and Ross Bohannon who were big contributors for this past year's Bulldog squad.
Limbaugh will bring over four players from his Scott Central squad including all-conference catcher/pitcher Josh Boese, who hit .588 while going 5-1 on the mound this past season.
"It's good to get some Scott Central boys," Limbaugh said. "I know them front and back just from having them in the high school season. We're bringing four of them with us.
"Their coming off one of the best seasons Scott Central has ever had. So hopefully they can help us out."
The other schools contributing to the roster include Dexter, Scott City, Richland and Risco.
Limbaugh's confident once the team starts gelling then the wins will start coming, which in turn he hopes increases fan support.
"Once you get good chemistry and not many people complaining then that's when the 'W's start coming along," he said. "Wins are the things that gets people in the stands and that's what we're wanting for Sikeston as a community."
Post 114 opened their season Thursday, losing to the Cape Girardeau Cherokees and were scheduled to play a doubleheader in Dyersburg on Saturday. Sikeston's next home game comes this Tuesday when they play Dunklin County at 5 p.m. at VFW Field.
|May 27||Cape Cherokees, 6 p.m.|
|May 29||at Dyersburg, 1 p.m.|
|June 1||*Dunklin County, 5 p.m.|
|June 4-6||Charleston Woodbat Tour||ney, TBA|
|June 8||Mayfield, 6 p.m.|
|June 9||*at Poplar Bluff, 5 p.m.|
|June 10||*Cape, 6 p.m.|
|June 15||*at Jackson, 6 p.m.|
|June 17||Charleston, 6 p.m.|
|June 19||Jackson, 2 p.m.|
|June 21||at Mayfield, Ky., 5:30 p.m.|
|June 22||*Poplar Bluff, 5 p.m.|
|July 6||*at Dunklin County, 4 p.m.|
|July 7||*at Cape, 6 p.m.|
|July 9||at Charleston , 6 p.m.|
|July 13||*Jackson , 6 p.m.|
|July 15-18||District Tourney at Cape,||TBA|
* Denotes Conference game.
All non-tournament games are doubleheaders with first game the one that counts in standings.