(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
CAPE GIRARDEAU -- The Sikeston Bulldogs bounced back from a round one loss to the Cape Central Tigers during the SEMO Conference Tournament with a 9-0 win over the Kelly Hawks at Cape Central High School on Saturday.
"We didn't make the mistakes that we made against Cape," Sikeston head coach Kevin Self said. "Even though it's a tournament game, it's still regular season. This tournament gets you ready for district time. You get a chance to reprieve yourself and give yourselves another chance to win."
The Bulldogs scored consistently throughout the contest starting with two runs in the first and second innings.
"We scored early and that was the key," Self said. "With wooden bats thats always good. We executed some things. We got some bunts down, moved up on bases and there wasn't any real mental mistakes."
Following three consecutive walks by Kelly starter Gabe Felter, Drew Harper pushed across the Bulldogs' first two runs with a double to deep centerfield.
Tyler Anderson drove in a run in the second with another double. Anderson eventually came around to score himself on a passed ball giving Sikeston an early 4-0 lead.
Sikeston (9-4) exploded for four runs in the third inning giving them an 8-0 edge.
"They hit the ball well like we expected them to," Kelly head coach Josh Eftink said. "We had chances to put some runs up but we couldn't come up with a hit when we needed it. We had a few too many walks too to help out which made their hits even bigger."
Caleb Pruitt singled in the first run of the third inning which was then followed by a bases loaded walk to Blake Newman. The next batter, Harper, knocked in his third and fourth RBIs of the game with a single to right.
The Bulldogs tallied just six hits but took advantage of 10 walks from Felter.
"Everyone pretty much put it in play and was patient at the plate," said Self. "There wasn't a lot of swinging and missing."
Sikeston starter Cord Sheehy pitched all seven innings and allowed just two hits. He was helped by an errorless defense behind him that turned two double plays as well as a dazzling outfield assist by Andrew Hicks to throw out a runner at home.
Harper led Sikeston with three hits including two doubles.
Although this loss ended Kelly's SEMO Conference tournament run, Eftink saw some positives in the Hawks' (4-10) two losses to both Sikeston and New Madrid County Central.
"It didn't go our way but we came out with a lot of positives," Eftink said. "We didn't put up any runs today, but against NMCC we hit the ball. Hopefully, with the last two weeks of the season coming up we can build off of it."
The Bulldogs will play for fifth place against Poplar Bluff at 2 p.m. today at Capaha Field in Cape Girardeau.
"It's a district opponent and the last one we played we won it on a game-winning home run by Tyler (Anderson)," said Self. "Poplar Bluff is good so, it's going to be a tough game."
Kelly 000 000 0 -- 0
Sikeston 224 100 x -- 9
WP -- Cord Sheehy. LP -- Gabe Felter. 2B -- (S) Drew Harper 2, Tyler Anderson.