(Photo by Chris Pobst)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldogs exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning making short work of their opposing visitor from the east, Carbondale, Ill., 10-0 in five innings.
Sikeston starter Drew Harper pitched the five inning shutout.
He allowed four hits and hit one batter. The Bulldog hurler walked none and struck out four.
"He was off and on," Sikeston head coach Alan Scheeter said about Harper. "Some innings he went deep into counts, especially early on. Once he settled in, they were swinging at first pitches and hitting weak fly balls. He battled out of jams. He did a good job."
The Bulldogs were able to get to Terrier starter Mitch Lauder for two runs in the third, but took full advantage of a fatigued Laduer in the deciding inning.
"It looked like he just ran out of steam," Scheeter said about Lauder. "He had a couple walks and they had a couple errors. We just took advantage of it."
On top of four walks by Lauder in the frame, he gave up three hits and his defense behind him committed one error. There was also a passed ball and two wild pitches, which happened to be the ultimate reason why the game ended early.
A wild pitch went sailing well over the head of Carbondale catcher Michael Glaub allowing Harper to score with ease for the 10th and final run.
"You have to give it to Sikeston," Carbondale head coach Dennis Bastien said. "They came out ran the bases well, hit the ball and their pitcher was throwing strikes. I've never, ever come out complimentary of a 10-run game, but our team looked pretty good today minus some mental boo boo's.
"It was the first time we hit the ball hard all year. It just seemed to be right at somebody."
After stranding three runners in the first two innings, Sikeston broke through with two runs in the third.
An error in the outfield on a connection from Clayton Driskill at the plate score Tyler Anderson who was standing at second. A double by Patrick Smith, who finished the day with two doubles and two RBIs, scored Josh Hampton from third.
Smith, who hit in the sixth spot in the Bulldogs' lineup, was been a spark for the Sikeston offense as of late.
"Patrick has really come along," Scheeter said about Smith. "I think every game he's played in, he's had two hits. We're getting a lot of production out of him."
Smith drove in his second RBi in the fifth with his second double to give Sikeston a 4-0 lead.
"If we can get production out of the lower spots in our lineup, I know we can be really dangerous," Scheeter said. "I know our top four or five guys are always going to hit."
Luke Keefer made it 6-0 after a 2-RBI single. Four consecutive walks to the Bulldogs, following Keefer's at-bat ended the game by mercy rule.
Sikeston will be heading to Reidland, Ky., on Friday to take part in the Reidland Invitational Tournament.
Friday the Bulldogs will take on Hopkinsville, Ky., followed by meeting with Calloway County and Heath High School on Saturday. The tourney used to use wooden bats, but with the new BBCOR regulations, the wood is no longer used.
"It's a good experience going over there," Scheeter said. "We usually have great fields and a great atmosphere to play on. I think we'll have fun.
"You get a lot of games in over there and it seems like when we come back our bats are starting to peak. Hopefully, that continues after a big weekend."
Carbondale 000 00 -- 0 4 5
Sikeston 002 08 -- 10 7 1
WP -- Drew Harper. LP -- Mitch Lauder. 2B -- (C) Nick Stearns. (S) Trent McMillan, Patrick Smith 2. Multiple hitters -- (C) Daniel Lustman 2-3. (S) Luke Keefer 2-4, Smith 2-3.
The Sikeston junior varsity team defeated Carbondale 8-2.
Doug Still picked up the win after four innings of work. Still gave up one run on two hits and three walks. He also struck out four.
John Foster and Adam Kenard each had three hits. Colton Hampton and Jacob Clark had two apiece.