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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sikeston survives late Scott City rally

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

(Photo)
Sikeston's Trent McMillan connects on a Scott City offering on Tuesday afternoon in Scott City. McMillan hit a home run in the Bulldogs' 7-4 win. Brent Shipman, Staff
SCOTT CITY -- Backed by a complete game effort from starting pitcher Trey Tigart, the Sikeston Bulldogs survived a late rally from the Scott City Rams on Tuesday for a 7-4 win.

"We had them down early and let them back in it a little bit," Sikeston head coach Alan Scheeter said. "Credit to them, they hit the ball up and down the lineup. I would like to see us finish a game off a little stronger than what we did instead of letting a team back in it.

"But no complaints. A win is a win."

Taking control early, the Bulldogs got an RBI single from Drew Harper in the top of the first, scoring Tyler Anderson after he reached on a one-out double.

Three more runs in the second ensured Sikeston would never trail in the contest as a bloop single up the middle scored the first run of the frame. Capping the rally, with runners on third, Josh Hampton and Anderson each hit sacrifice flies to give the Bulldogs a 4-0 advantage.

"We had a good day swinging the bats yesterday and it looks like it carried over to today," Scheeter said.

It was after Sikeston went up 5-0, on a Trent McMillan home run in the third, that the Rams broke up the shutout with a two-run rally in the bottom of the frame. Austin Atchley and Zach Carlyle led off the frame with back-to-back hits before Heath Pobst brought the pair in with base-clearing line drive to right field.

Despite momentarily closing back to within three runs of the Bulldogs, Scott City entered the seventh down by five once again after a pair of one-run rallies in the fourth and fifth by Sikeston.

Down to their final three outs, the Rams made one last stand thanks, in part, to a pair of fielding errors that left the bases loaded with no outs.

In each of the next two at-bats, Scott City sacrificed an out for a run as they climbed back to within three runs of the Bulldogs at 7-4.

Bringing in the first run, Brett Dirnberger grounded to short before a potential single to right field by Heath Pobst brought in the Rams' final run.

Pobst's ball dropped in front of the right fielder but, with the runner at first caught in-between first and second when it looked like the right fielder might swoop in for the catch, Sikeston was able to throw to second base for a force out.

Looking to extend their the rally, Scott City saw a heads up play by Sikeston's left fielder shoot down the Rams' comeback hopes.

With a runner on first, Ryan Fortner lined a single to left-center field that looked to extend the rally. With the lead runner closing in on third and threatening to head home, Fortner broke for second as he anticipated a throw to the plate.

Firing to second off the bounce, left fielder Patrick Smith gunned down Fortner at the bag for the final out.

"They executed a nice play," Scott City head coach Lance Amick said. "But the in-between ball in right field where it leaves the runner in no mans land is a tough break.

"It seems like those breaks we didn't catch all day, which is baseball. And you tip your hat to Sikeston. They made the plays, but I'm proud of the way our team battled all day long."

Picking up the win, Trey Tigart went all seven innings, surrendering all four runs on 11 hits. He didn't allow a walk and struck out two.

"I don't know that he had but one or two, one-two-three innings," Scheeter said. "Seems like he had runners on base all the time. That's a good hitting ball club. They're as strong as any of the three teams we've seen hitting the ball right now, one through nine.

"They hit some balls hard and he had to battle out of tough spots with runners on with one out and nobody out. He just kept throwing strikes and kept them off balance with a breaking pitch. He just battled and had a heck of a good game. I'm real proud of him."

With the Rams closing in on the Bulldogs in the seventh, Scheeter said he was close to making a pitching change due to Tigart's high pitch count.

"I told Trey I wanted to see him finish it," he said. "I wanted to see a gutsy performance. He wanted to finish it and I told him if you get in trouble I'm going to switch you and Luke (Keefer) and let somebody else come in and finish it up.

"Then the first two kids got on and the third kid reached. That's when I came out to the mound and he said, 'coach, I got this.' He didn't want to come out so I said we'll see what you got. Sure enough he gets a ground ball and a out out of it. The here we are, game over."

Sikeston 131 110 0 - 7

Scott City 002 000 2 - 4

WP -- Trey Tigart. LP -- Hunter Cox. Multiple hitters: (SK) Tyler Anderson 2-3, Patrick Smith 2-4; (SC) Zach Carlyle 3-4, Logan Henson 2-3. 2B -- (SK) Anderson, Cord Sheehy. HR -- (SK) Trent McMillan.