(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
DEXTER -- Snapping a five-game losing skid, the Dexter Bearcats held the Portageville Bulldogs to five hits Monday afternoon in a 17-3 mercy rule win.
"It's good to get off a losing skid," Dexter coach Brian Becker said. "We talked about coming in it's time to start a new streak. We're on a five-game losing streak and it's time to stop that and start a winning streak."
Jumping out to a four-run lead entering top of the third, the Bearcats saw a pair of infield errors aid the Bulldogs in closing back to within at 4-3.
Taking advantage of Portageville's struggles on the mound, however, Dexter was able to once again put some space between them and the Bulldogs with a seven-run rally in the bottom of the frame.
With runners of first and third with one out, the Bearcats scored their first run of the inning on a passed ball by the catcher, followed by another run the following at bat on an error.
Another two runs crossed the plate on bases loaded walk and a passed ball, before Alex Cliff brought home the final two of the inning on a two-run double to left center field to make it 11-3.
Activating the 10-run mercy rule, the Bearcats added another six runs in the fourth off four hits and three walks before relief pitcher Owen Flowers shut out the Bulldogs in the top of the fifth to end the game.
"We jumped out on them and swung the bats well today," said Becker. "It was good to get a win and hopefully we can carry some momentum going in to districts."
With 10 hits on the game Dexter was led by Cliff, Jordan Miller and Daniel Fitts who contributed two hits apiece.
On the mound, Miller picked up the win, going four innings, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks while striking out six.
"I thought Jordan Miller threw the ball well," Becker said. "He had a little bit of trouble in one inning, but we didn't field it well behind him either."
For Portageville, Hunter Cook had a two hit performance, going 2 for 4, while Bryce Wallace, Caden Robbins and Eric Simmons all collected a hit. Simmons had the team's lone extra base hit, a double to start the third.
"You have those days sometimes where the strike zone, you kind of expand it," Bulldogs' coach Lee Wallace said. "And we got caught trying to get that letter-high fastball. With the wind blowing in you can't drive the ball out today.
Added Wallace, "we're going to try to work through things. We have two games (left in the regular season) to try to do some things with pitching.
"I have to be able to have somebody come in and be able to snuff something out. Right now, unfortunately we just don't have it."
Portageville (4-11-1) will host New Madrid County Central today at 4:30 p.m. while Dexter (8-10) travels to Campbell today to play the Camels at 4 p.m.
Portageville 003 00 - 3
Dexter 227 6x - 17
WP -- Jordan Miller. LP -- Bryce Wallace. 2B -- (P) Eric Simmons; (D) Alex Cliff, Jordan Miller, Daniel Fitts.