(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
FARMINGTON -- The Sikeston Bulldogs baseball team entered district play last season with high hopes, only to lose in the first round to North County in a game that started early in the morning and was delayed by rain.
This year the Bulldogs are looking to erase the memory of last season when they begin Class 4, District 1 play on Saturday. Sikeston, seeded fourth, takes on fifth seeded DeSoto at 10:30 a.m. at Wilson-Rozier Park in Farmington.
"All we can see now is DeSoto," said Sikeston coach Kevin Self. "We'd like a little revenge on how we played last year. It's kind of fitting that we play the early game because we know we didn't show up (last year). We're going to make sure that we're ready."
Sikeston enters district play with a record of 12-6 while DeSoto is 10-13, but have won six of their last eight games.
The Dragons are led in hitting by Doug Fromm and Nick Richman who are both batting .468 on the season. Fromm has four home runs and 20 RBIs while Richman has two home runs and 22 RBIs.
DeSoto will likely start their ace Eduardo Oquendo, son of St. Louis Cardinal coach Jose Oquendo. The senior is 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA in 46 1/3 innings pitched.
Sikeston will have a fresh set of arms to choose from in Trey Tigart and Drew Harper, as both will have several days rest. Self said he was unsure who would start.
Farmington (19-3) is the top seed in the tournament and will take on the winner of the Sikeston game at 4:30 p.m. on Monday.
Class 3, District 1
A third, winner-take-all match-up between Kennett and Notre Dame is expected in the finals of the Class 3, District 1 Tournament at Notre Dame, but several other teams could put a wrench in those plans.
Dexter (9-10) is seeded third and will take on sixth seeded Scott City (11-8-1) in the first round on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Meanwhile New Madrid County Central (7-10) is seeded seventh and will take on second-seeded Kennett in the first round at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Notre Dame.
"Kennett's tough," said NMCC coach Joseph McClarty. "They're one of the best ball clubs anyone's going to see around here and they've had our number over the past. If we can go out there and throw strikes, swing the bats and play good defense, we can give ourselves a chance. That's all we can ask for."
Class 2, District 1
Portageville (4-12-1) is the seventh seed in the Class 2, District 1 Tournament at Senath-Hornersville and will take on second-seeded Twin Rivers at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Malden is the top seed in the tournament while South Pemiscot (8-9) is seeded fourth and will take on Caruthersville at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
Class 2, District 2
The Class 2, District 2 Tournament will kick off in Charleston on Saturday, with Clearwater getting the top seed, earning a first round bye.
Charleston (11-9) is seeded third and will take on sixth-seeded East Carter County at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
A Charleston win would pit them against the winner of the Greenville/Puxico game at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
Fourth-seeded East Prairie (8-9) will take on Bloomfield (12-6), winners of 11-straight games, at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Bloomfield defeated East Prairie 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon.
The winner of the East Prairie/Bloomfield game will take on Clearwater at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Class 2, District 3
The Chaffee Red Devils, district champions in Class 1, District 2 last season, move up to Class 2 this season and are seeded second in the Class 2, District 3 Tournament being played at Saxony Lutheran.
Chaffee (17-6) will open district play on Saturday against Meadow Heights (1-17) at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Chaffee defeated Meadow Heights 13-1 on April 28.
A Chaffee win will put them in the semifinals against the winner of Saxony Lutheran and St. Vincent at 4:30 p.m. on Monday.
Kelly (5-15) is seeded fifth and will take on Woodland (7-6) at 11:30 a.m.
"Going in we have all our pitching pretty much rested so we should have all our arms ready to go," said Kelly coach Josh Eftink. "Hopefully we can hit the ball and play good defense."
The winner of the Kelly game will take on top seeded Valle Catholic (19-4) at 2 p.m. on Monday.
Class 1, District 1
The Class 1, District 1 Tournament kicks off today with Risco (10-11) seeded third, taking on sixth-seeded Southland at noon today. The winner will play the winner of Holcomb/Clarkton at 4 p.m. on Monday.
Cooter, the top seed, plays Delta C-7 today while fourth seeded North Pemiscot and Gideon also were set to square off this afternoon.
Class 1, District 2
The Oran Eagles enter the Class 1, District 2 Tournament as not only the host but the top seed with an 18-2 record before today's game against Bernie.
Oran has a first round bye and will take on the winner of Leopold/Advance at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
Bernie is the second seed and will take on seventh-seeded Delta at noon Monday while third-seeded Scott County Central (10-7) takes on Bell City at 2 p.m. on Monday.
"It's tough, but this team's had a great season," said Scott Central coach Matt Limbaugh. "They've put together some strings of runs that looks like a good team in the makings. So we just have to put it all together and have a few days here of practice and be ready for Bell City on Monday because they'll be ready for us."