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Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014

Post 114 rally falls short, Squirrels win 5-4

Thursday, June 21, 2012

(Photo)
Sikeston second baseman John Foster leaps for the ball as Charleston Squirrels' runner Ryan Fortner slides safely into second Wednesday at VFW Memorial Stadium. Charleston defeated Post 114 5-4 in the nine-inning contest. Chris Pobst, Staff
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Legion Post 114 baseball team saw its late rally fall just short in a 5-4 loss to visiting Charleston on Wednesday at VFW Stadium.

Post 114 fell behind 4-0 in the first four innings and showed no signs of making a game of it, but the bats woke up in the bottom of the fourth to keep the Fighting Squirrels on their toes the rest of the way.

Even in the loss, Sikeston coach Alan Scheeter was pleased with the way his team battled a talented Charleston squad.

"That's a good club," Scheeter said. "You look at some of the players that they have, they've got some of the best players in the entire area. They draw all the way over to Greenville to Bloomfield and they go up north. They've got players from all over. So I was glad to see us put together a good ballgame against a good ballclub."

Charleston hurler Mack Marcum was the winning pitcher, throwing all nine innings while getting help from his defense at times -- twice getting crucial double plays to thwart Post 114 rallies.

The right-hander allowed just six hits and walked just two with five strikeouts.

The win for Charleston snaps a four-game losing streak to improve to 15-17 on the season.

"What a tremendous job by our young pitcher when we needed a big-time outing," Charleston coach Michael Minner said of Marcum. "He's a 15-year-old kid and he's in there pumping strikes and battling his tail off and broke that four-game losing streak. I think we had him about 110 pitches, but that many over nine innings is a pretty good night."

Charleston scored in the top of the first on a Ryan Fortner RBI-single to plate Paul Fox.

The Squirrels went up 2-0 in the second on Trey Watkins' RBI-single to bring in Ethan Browning.

Browning's RBI-double in the top of the third made it 3-0, bringing in Brad Potts.

In the top of the fourth, Jacob Wilson knocked in Fox with an RBI-single to lead 4-0.

Meanwhile, Marcum was cruising, retiring the first nine batters he faced.

Post 114 broke through in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run single by Austin Hatchel to cut the Charleston lead to 4-2.

The Squirrels got a run back in the fifth on another Browning RBI-double to lead 5-2.

"We haven't been scoring any runs or hitting the ball and we threw up 11 hits which is a big night for us compared to what we've been having," Minner said.

Sikeston's Cord Sheehy clubbed a solo home run that crept just inside the left field foul pole to lead off the bottom of the sixth to trim the lead to 5-3.

Post 114 had one last chance in the bottom of the ninth to possibly tie the game. Josh Alsup led off the inning with a double. He eventually scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 5-4.

Marcum was able to limit the damage from there, closing out the complete-game win.

"That's all that you can ask -- give yourself a chance to win it," Scheeter said. "We had the tying run at the plate and the winning run on deck. You really can't ask for a whole heck of a lot more than that."

Sikeston's Austin Godwin was the losing pitcher, throwing four innings and allowing four runs off eight hits and one walk.

Jashawn McDaniel pitched the final five innings in relief, allowing one run in the fifth inning, but throwing four straight scoreless innings to close out the game. He allowed three hits with four strikeouts and no walks.

"The runs that they got they earned them," Scheeter said. "A couple of them were scored with two outs where I'd like to see us close an inning out. I thought the pitchers did a really good job. Austin Godwin came in and he doesn't throw real hard, but he keeps them off balance a little bit. He was going on three days rest and I thought it was best right then to make a switch. Jashawn came right in and did a good job and kept us in it."

Charleston was led in hitting by Browning, who went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs.

Hunter Norden went 2-4 for the Squirrels.

"We had some better at-bats," Minner said. "(Browning) has been struggling at the plate and he had three hits tonight and hit four balls hard. That's a good sign right now. That's what we're looking for. We've said many times that we hit all year and don't hit in the playoffs. So hopefully we'll peak at the right time. We play a lot of baseball and we're trying to get prepared for the postseason. This is a good local game for us where we don't have to travel very far. Coach Scheeter is a class act and the field is in good shape over here and it was a gorgeous night."

Post 114 was led in hitting by Sheehy and Hatchel with two hits apiece, but Marcum kept the rest of the lineup bottled up, allowing just two other hits.

"We just couldn't get any run support," Scheeter said. "It seems like we hit a lot of first-ball fastballs and we didn't hit it with a lot of authority. If we're going to make outs, I'd like to see us making tougher outs. Lazy routine flyballs are not tough outs."

Charleston will host Jackson Senior Babe Ruth today at Hillhouse Park at 6 p.m. Sikeston Post 114 is scheduled to play at Paragould, Ark., on Sunday at 6 p.m.

Cha. 111 110 000 -- 5 11 3

Sik. 000 201 001 -- 4 6 1

WP -- Mack Marcum. LP -- Austin Godwin. HR -- (S) Cord Sheehy. 2B -- (C) Ethan Browning 2. (S) Josh Alsup. Multiple hitters: (C) Browning 3-4, Hunter Norden 2-4. (S) Sheehy 2-4, Austin Hatchel 2-3.