(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
SIKESTON -- A day after suffering an 11-7 loss to rival Notre Dame in their season opener, the Sikeston Bulldogs let loose some frustration on the visiting Kelly Hawks.
The Bulldogs blanked Kelly 17-0 at VFW Memorial Stadium on 16 hits on Wednesday for their first win of the season.
"We swung the bats as a team up and down the lineup," Sikeston head coach Kevin Self said. "Right now, we have several guys swinging well.
"It's always good to get that first win under your belt. Especially after a tough loss (Tuesday)."
The Bulldogs began the top of the first with a bad break on a towering pop fly from Tyler Anderson. With Luke Keefer on first after a leadoff single and taking off during the pitch, Anderson's pop fly landed just inside the foul line beside first base.
As it turned out, the Hawks were able to scoop it up and tag the base for one out and then tag Keefer for the second.
"We kind of a bad break on the hit and run," Self said. "I wanted to jump start things a little bit because yesterday we kind of sat back on our hands a little bit. It backfired but, we ended up getting a couple."
Sikeston was able to overcome the double play, however, scoring two runs with two outs. Trent McMillan, who also received the start on the mound, roped an RBI double to left-center field pushing across Drew Harper and Nathan Rodgers for an early 2-0 lead.
The Bulldogs continued their barrage in the second inning scoring 10 runs on seven hits. Sikeston sent 15 batters to the plate during the frame.
"They're a really good hitting ball club," Kelly head coach Josh Eftink said. "Whenever they are working ahead in the count they really sit dead red on some fastballs and hit it hard."
Leading off the second with a single, Sikeston senior Evan Underwood was then drove in by Jacob Wilson who sent a long drive deep to right field for his first career varsity home run.
The Bulldogs scored eight more after that with a little help from two Kelly errors in the field, a two-RBI double by senior Blake Newman and an RBI double by sophomore Tyler Anderson.
It was a classic representation of a season opener for the Hawks.
"We gave them a few extra on some balls that we misread," Eftink said. "For us it was a typical first game. You could tell we were a little jittery out there."
Sikeston (1-1) added three more in the bottom of the third behind a two-RBI triple from Underwood and an RBI single from Cord Sheehy.
With substitutions filling the Bulldog lineup at a frequent rate, Sikeston added their last two runs in the fourth inning behind an RBI double from Clayton Driskill and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Underwood.
"Pretty much every position, guys had hits," said Self. "Guys coming off the bench get their plate appearances and they make the most of it. I was tickled for a lot of those guys to get in. It was a good opportunity to give those guys a chance to play."
Keefer, Anderson, Newman, Underwood and Driskill all had two hits for Sikeston.
While Sikeston's bats did most of the talking, McMillan matched the offense's surge on the mound. McMillan allowed just one hit in his five innings of work. He also struck out four and walked three.
"Trent threw extremely well today," Self said. "He gave up one hit and that was in the first inning. After that he shut them down."
His lone hit allowed was a line drive past a diving Newman at second off the bat of Ian Householder in the top of the first inning.
McMillan had three 1-2-3 innings making sure the shutout stayed intact.
"He just did a good job of coming right at us," Eftink said. "They got him a lead early and whenever you pitch with a lead you don't worry about mixing it up a whole lot you just go after hitters.
"We hit the ball but they made plays behind him too."
McMillan was helped by a solid defensive day behind him which included no errors and a jumping catch in left field by Keefer on a scorching line drive during Kelly's first at bat of the game.
"If Luke doesn't make that one grab over the top of his head and it could have been different had he not catch that ball. We could have been down," Self said. "Our defense played well. We made the throws that we needed to make."
Ian Householder picked up the loss for Kelly (0-1). Householder threw the first two innings until giving way to Michael Kuykendall to start the bottom of the third.
"It was one of those first game scenario's where he was trying to throw a little too hard and got behind in some counts," Eftink said. "We never really got ahead enough to work some off-speed stuff. But, it's early and he got his pitch count up to around 70 so that's good for building arm strength for later on."
Householder was responsible for 12 runs (nine earned) on 10 hits and five walks. He struck out one on the day.
Getting a no hitter from starting pitcher Colton Black Wednesday afternoon, the Sikeston Bulldogs junior varsity team defeated Kelly's junior varsity 13-0 in five innings on the mercy rule.
While issuing only a one walk, Black struck out 12 batters to help Sikeston move to 2-0 on the young season.
After opening up the game with a three-run first inning, the Bulldogs broke the game open in the second, knocking out eights runs to pull away 11-0 heading into the third.
Leading the Bulldogs' attack was Tyler Neal and Patrick Smith, contributed two hits each in a game where members of Sikeston's squad collected a hit.
Kelly 0 0 0 00 -- 0
Sikeston 2(10)3 2x -- 17
WP -- Trent McMillan. LP -- Ian Householder. 2B -- (S) Drew Harper, McMillan, Blake Newman, Tyler Anderson, Caleb Pruitt, Clayton Driskill. 3B -- (S) Evan Underwood. HR -- (S) Jacob Wilson.