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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Sikeston places third in regional

Monday, August 2, 2010

(Photo)
Sikeston's T.J. Hester swings at a pitch in Sunday's contest against Mineral Area in the Cal Ripken Midwest Plains Regional Tournament. Brent Shipman, Staff
KELSO -- Battling back from a second round loss to Scott County in the Cal Ripken Midwest Plains Regional Tournament, Sikeston's 9-and-under team went on to win two straight contest to advance to the loser bracket finals.

There run stopped there, however, as Sikeston fell to Mineral Area 11-3 Sunday afternoon leaving them with a third-place finish to end their season.

"I'm just proud of them," Sikeston's coach Brian Self said of his boys. "We left the ball park at 12:30 (this morning) and having to battle through that loser's bracket is hard.

"We lost two pitchers to elbow injury. That's tough, but we had some kids really step up."

After Friday's 14-0 loss to Scott County knocked them out of the winner's bracket, Sikeston went on to sweep a set of games Saturday, beating SEMO North 14-6, followed by a 8-1 decision of Fort Scott, Kan., later that night, knocking both teams out of the tournament.

Those wins set up Sunday's contest against Mineral Area with the winner going on to play Scott County in the tournament finals.

Unfortunately for Sikeston, an offense that had scored 37 runs over their last four games wasn't able to keep up Mineral Area.

Though they trailed only 3-2 after the first two innings, Sikeston gradually saw the game slip away as Mineral Area scored in each of the last four innings, including four in the fourth, to put the game out of reach.

"I thought we really rallied back, we just ran out of gas unfortunately," Self said. "Against a good team if you give them extra outs they're going to beat you and that's what we did."

On the game Sikeston came away with three hits as Noah Williams, Noah Hicks and Lestyn Thompson all contributing a single.

Hicks and Thompson also scored two of Sikeston's runs, both in the second inning, while Nate Self scored the team's final run of the afternoon in the third after reaching on a walk.

The third place finish in Regionals comes a week after Sikeston wrapped up third place in the state tournament.

Overall, Self said he was pleased with how his kids rallied together after some pitching problems and lopsided scores to still make a strong run at the championship.

"They don't quit," he said. "They come back and we just try to give them positive feedback. I was just proud of how some boys came in there and did some pitching when some of our other pitching went down that we usually count on.

"That hurts and when you're using different kids I was really proud of them."