(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Held to only two hits by Ford and Sons Cape Girardeau Legion Post 63 starter Andrew Williams, Sikeston Legion Post 114 fell 4-0 on Thursday in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader.
"We didn't bring our bats with us today," Sikeston head coach Alan Scheeter said. "The Williams kid threw a really good game. He kept us off balance pretty much all day long.
"He was throwing curveballs in fastball counts and he had really good control. We just never really got good wood on him all game long."
Williams held Post 114 hitless through 5 2/3 innings of play while Post 63 took advantage of three early runs to keep Sikeston in the rearview.
Making Post 114 starter Cord Sheehy pay for walking two straight batter to open the game, Trey Gardner hit a grounder down the third baseline to plate the first run of the game. After a another single loaded the bases, Williams grounded into a double play that plated another run to put Cape ahead 2-0.
Post 63 came back up in the top of the second after sending Sikeston down in order and took a 3-0 lead when leadoff hitter Alex McRaven singled in Kyle Thompson, who reached on a two-out bunt in the previous at bat.
"(The walks) hurt them in the first couple innings and we were able to cash in," Cape head coach Steve Williams said. "That allowed our pitcher to relax and pitch, which helped us out as well."
With a comfortable three-run advantage, Andrew Williams was able to cruise through the first five innings of play as he allowed only two base runners, with both reaching on errors.
After Williams induced a couple of ground outs to start the bottom of the sixth, Sikeston was able to finally break up the no-hit bid when Jared Yates hit a blooper to shallow right-center field.
Post 114 got their best chance to score out of this as Yates reached second base on a passed ball before Sheehy hit a line drive to center to give his team back-to-back singles. Unfortunately for Sikeston, Yates was thrown out trying to score on Sheehy's hit to end the inning.
"I was glad to finally get something going there," Scheeter said. "I just wish we could have done it a little earlier in the game. I hated that it took us so long."
In the seventh frame Cape added one more insurance when when Gardner hit a two-out singled to drive in Thompson from third. Andrew Williams came back out and got a couple groundouts before closing out the game with a strikeout to seal the win.
To pick up the win, Williams went all seven innings, allowing only two hits without surrendering a walk. He struck out four and spent most of the game ahead in the count.
"That's the way he has to pitch," Steve Williams said. "He doesn't necessarily overpower people, but he can pitch backwards and he can throw his breaking ball and changeup for strikes. So as long as he stays ahead in the count he's tough to hit."
Williams counterpart, Sheehy, took the loss in a complete-game effort. He gave up all four runs on seven hits and four walks while fanning six.
After surrendering three runs in the first two innings, Sheehy held Post 63 to only run in the final five innings on three hits and two walks.
"He settled down following the first and second innings and threw really well from there on out," Scheeter said. "We played defense all game. I don't think we had an error."
Leading Cape in its seven-hit offensive effort was Gardener, who finished the game going 3 for 4 at the plate, all singles, with a pair of runs batted in. Thompson went 2 for 2 with the games only extra-base hit, a triple in the seventh, while reaching in all three plate appearances.
McRaven and Jesse Schott rounded out Post 63's offense with a hit each.
"We got an early lead and added on a couple times so it was a good ball game," said Steve Williams.
For Sikeston, Yates and Sheehy had the only two singles with JayShawnMcDaniel and John Foster reaching on errors.
With the win, improves to 3-2 in district play. If they can grab a win on Saturday against Dunklin County they'll take share of a three-way lead in districts.
Results of the night's second game weren't available at press time.
Cape 210 000 1 - 4
Sikeston 000 000 0 - 0
WP -- Andrew Williams. LP -- Cord Sheehy. Multiple hitters: (C) Trey Gardner 3-4, Kyle Thompson 2-2. 3B -- (C) Thompson.