(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Auxiliary Unit 114 Junior Legion baseball team spotted visiting Jackson six runs in the top of the first inning and couldn't battle back from it.
Jackson's Junior Legion squad continued to pour on the runs as they downed Unit 114 12-2 in six innings on the mercy rule in the first game of their doubleheader on Wednesday evening at VFW Memorial Stadium in Sikeston.
"We gave them six," Sikeston Junior Legion head coach Mark Jackson said. "I'm not sure how many earned runs we had, but we had enough to make it a ball game."
Jackson's first six batters reached safely and scored to start the game putting Sikeston in a deep, early hole.
Two hits, three walks and one error led to Jackson's first six base runners as Sikeston starter Jayshawn McDaniel struggled to find his rhythm on the mound.
Three-straight walks with the bases loaded led to Jackson's first three runs.
"Jayshawn wasn't sharp," said Jackson, "but he didn't get much help either."
A sacrifice fly by Jackson's Dylan Miller made it 4-0 Jackson. Clay Macke drove in the fifth run off an error in the Sikeston infield while Ryan O'Rear singled in Jackson's sixth and final run of the inning.
Sikeston (3-7) answered back quickly in their half of the first, but could only muster one run.
A leadoff single by Caleb McCord led to a string of two more hits from Colton Black and Gavin O'Brien. O'Brien pushed McCord across the plate for Sikeston's first run.
McCord, Black and O'Brien, Unit 114's first three hitters, combined for four of Sikeston's six hits. Along with Doug Still, Sikeston's seventh hitter who added two hits including a double in the sixth, Unit 114 failed to string together hits or come up with a big hit with runner's in scoring position.
"It's Doug and our top three right now," Jackson said. "Everyone else is struggling. "There's two things that I see that are glaring right now. We're not hitting with runner's in scoring position and our fielding is killing us."
Jackson continued to pound away.
Laban Petzoldt led off the second inning with an opposite field, solo home run to right field. They added another run in the fourth and put the game out of reach in the sixth with four more runs.
Down by 11 runs entering the bottom of the sixth, Sikeston tried valiantly to extend the game needing two runs to do it. Still drove in John Foster from second on a two-out double to right field.
That would be as close as they would come to keeping the game going as Jackson starter Steven Eddy struck out the next batter to end it.
Eddy pitched all six innings for Jackson, giving up two earned runs on six hits and five walks.
McDaniel lasted three innings and allowed seven runs, four earned, on four hits and four walks.
Still finished out the game for Unit 114 and was one of the bright spots. In three innings, the left hander allowed five runs, but two were earned. He allowed three hits and two walks as well. while striking out two.
"He did throw the ball well," Jackson said about Still. "He seemed to have them off balance and he's got really good late movement. He does a good job of changing speeds. As long as he's throwing strikes and stays with his mechanics, he's pretty tough.
"We've got good enough pitching to win," Jackson added. "But, we've got to make the plays and we've got to hit the ball a little better."
Jackson 610 104 -- 12 7 0
Sikeston 100 001 -- 2 6 5
WP -- Steven Eddy. LP -- Jayshawn McDaniel. 2B -- (J) Joe Elfrink; (S) Doug Still. HR -- (J) Laban Petzoldt.