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Notre Dame downs SHS in extra innings

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sikeston catcher Trent McMillan walks off the field as members of the Notre Dame Bulldogs celebrate their nine inning, 10-9 win on Tuesday at Notre Dame High School. Chris Pobst, Staff
CAPE GIRARDEAU -- The thought behind switching to the new BBCOR bats brought about ideas of shorter games and a more 'small ball' approach.

Someone forgot to mention that to Sikeston and Notre Dame.

The rivals combined for 16 hits, four home runs and needed extra innings to finish their wild meeting on Tuesday as Notre Dame squeaked out a 10-9 walk-off win at Notre Dame High School during each school's first game of the season.

"That's a heck of a game to start off with," Sikeston head coach Alan Scheeter said, following his first game as head coach. "BBCOR bats are supposed to be a lot more dead than what we've been swinging. I think both teams showed today that if you hit it right it's going to go. There were some really hard hit balls."

Sikeston's Luke Keefer and Trent McMillan both hit 3-run home runs while Notre Dame's Jesse Schott smoked two 2-run homers. Notre Dame had 10 hits to Sikeston's 6.

"Strong hitters with a lot of power," Notre Dame head coach Jeff Graviett said. "Our guys really showed what they can do if they get a hold of one. If Jesse is able to do that for most of the year, we're going to be pretty successful."

Notre Dame (1-0) didn't let the new BBCOR bats or Sikeston starter Drew Harper slow them down.

After Schott belted his first home run in the bottom of the first, Notre Dame held an early 2-0 lead. A bases loaded walk and a sacrifice fly put two more Notre Dame runs on the board in the second.

McMillan, who finished the day 1 for 3, quickly cut Notre Dame's lead to one in the top of the third when he got ahold of a delivery from Notre Dame starter Cody Heisserer and sent over the wall in left field.

"(Heisserer) couldn't get the off-speed over today," Graviett said. "Sikeston's got good enough hitters that you don't want to lay a fastball in on them. He started elevating it a bit, but you've got to give (Sikeston) credit, they took advantage of it and they have some big bats over there too."

Notre Dame's Mave Rivas answered right back with a 2-RBI double scoring Heisserer and Chase Simmons to make it 6-3 in favor of the home team.

The middle of Notre Dame's lineup combined for eight hits. Schott and Heisserer tallied five hits and five RBI together.

"Those are two really good hitters," Scheeter said. "You have to give them a lot of credit."

Although they were down by three runs and recorded two outs already in the inning, Sikeston rallied to make it a brand new ball game.

Following a single by Patrick Smith, who went 2 for 4 with a double, and Jacob Wilson getting hit by a pitch, Sikeston lead off hitter Luke Keefer lifted one into left field that crept over the wall and tied the game at 6-6.

"It seemed like you go out there and execute and get a few runs and then one swing of the bat they pick up three," Graviett said. "When Cody made a mistake, they took advantage of it."

Schott, who led Notre Dame with three hits, hit his second homer in the bottom of the fifth to give Notre Dame back the lead at 8-6 and knocked out Harper at the same time. Cord Sheehy finished the inning unscathed.

"He stopped the bleeding," Scheeter said about Sheehy.

Harper lasted four innings and gave up eight earned runs on six hits and four walks. He also struck out two.

"He never seemed like he really got settled in," Scheeter said about Harper. "He made some good pitches and then he made some good pitches that they hit. Credit to (Notre Dame). I've got a lot of faith in Drew. He battled all game long."

Sikeston captured their first and only lead in the top of the sixth following a three run double off the bat of Tyler Anderson. Anderson, who went 2 for 5 with two doubles, hit the gap in left-centerfield that sent Smith, Wilson and Keefer racing for home.

With Anderson on the mound for the first time since his shoulder problems kept him off of it all last year, Sikeston (0-1) needed just six more outs to record the win, but Notre Dame wouldn't allow it.

A throwing error on a bunt back to the mound led to Notre Dame's Jonathan Lynch advancing to second to start the inning. An RBI single by Heisserer knotted the game again, 9-9.

"Tyler tried to field it and made an off-balance throw into the corner," said Scheeter. "It's hard to fault a kid for trying to make a play."

After Heisserer worked his way to third giving Notre Dame a chance to take the lead, Anderson coaxed a fielder's choice and a strike out to get out of the inning.

Each team went silent at the plate in both the seventh and eighth innings -- especially Sikeston's. Notre Dame reliever Justin Landewee kept Sikeston hitter's guessing with a curveball leaving them hitless in the final three innings.

"Landewee kept us off balance," Scheeter said. "They kept hitting, made plays and beat us."

Things were looking like the ninth would be the same but late inning heroics from an unlikely source took center stage.

Notre Dame's No. 9 hitter, Kyle Campbell, waited for the perfect opportunity to pick up his first hit of the day.

With two outs and a runner on second, Campbell connected on a pitch from Anderson that fell into center for a single. The winning run came across the plate which sent Notre Dame players into a frenzy and Sikeston's walking towards the dugout.

"We got the big hit at the end," Graviett said. "That's really what it came down to. I thought it might come down to which team made the mistake but it didn't happen that way. Luckily, we were the home team today."

Landewee picked up the win going four innings and giving up three runs on two hits and two walks. He also struck out four.

Anderson received the loss after four innings of relief. He gave up two runs on four hits and three walks.

"I think any team could have won it," Scheeter said. "It just came down to them executing there late and a single by the No. 9 hitter. That's big time right there."

Sikeston 003 303 000 -- 9 6 1

Notre Dame 222 021 001 -- 10 10 0

WP -- Justin Landewee. LP -- Tyler Anderson (0-1). 2B -- (S) Tyler Anderson 2, Patrick Smith 1. (ND) Mave Rivas 1. 3B -- (ND) Cody Heisserer 1. HR -- (S) Luke Keefer 1, Trent McMillan 1. (ND) Jesse Schott 2. Multiple hitters -- (S) Keefer 2-4, Anderson 2-5, Smith 2-4. (ND) Heisserer 2-3, Schott 3-4, Rivas 2-4.