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Monday, June 26, 2017

Sikeston baseball team powers past NMCC in season opener

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sikeston's Max Ault approaches home plate after hitting a two-run home run in the second inning against New Madrid County Central Monday, March 20, 2017, at Eagle Park in New Madrid, Mo.
(Chris Pobst/Standard Democrat)
NEW MADRID, Mo. -- For a team that showed little power last season, the Sikeston baseball team flexed some muscle during its season opener.

The Bulldogs smacked three home runs and received a pitching gem from Will Gilmer during a 10-0 rout in five innings over SEMO Conference foe New Madrid County Central Monday at Eagle Park.

Trey Smith hit two home runs and finished with five RBIs while Max Ault added another dinger, a two-run shot that put Sikeston on top for good.

Sikeston's Wyatt Pratt (8) slides safely into third base while New Madrid County Central third baseman Chase Silman awaits a throw Monday, March 20, 2017, at Eagle Park in New Madrid, Mo.
(Chris Pobst/Standard Democrat)
Sikeston, who only had one home run as a team last season, finished with eight hits.

"We just wanted to be aggressive," First-year Sikeston head coach Brett Kolons said. "We just wanted to have fun at the plate and see what we could do."

It took Sikeston an inning to figure out NMCC starter Palmer Campbell, who made short work of Sikeston's top of the lineup in the first inning that included two strikeouts.

But a walk to Mckenzie Worth and a sacrifice bunt by Bryce Bays to move Worth to second led to Ault's blast in the top of the second.

Ault, who had just nine hits in 57 plate appearances last season, crushed a 1-1 fastball over the centerfield fence for a 2-0 Sikeston lead.

"I liked how we did the little things," Kolons said. "We hustled around the bases, got a bunt down that I thought was a huge key because it got us going. We worked hard and I liked what we saw from the offense."

Sikeston's Trey Smith rounds third base after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning against New Madrid County Central Monday, March 20, 2017, at Eagle Park in New Madrid, Mo.
(Chris Pobst/Standard Democrat)
Smith continued Sikeston's power surge in the third inning, which started with a dropped ball in right field off the bat of Will Pratt that ended with him on third. Smith turned on a Campbell fastball that sailed over the left field fence four pitches later to double-up Sikeston's lead.

The Bulldogs (1-0, 1-0 SEMO Conference) went on to score three more times in the third behind a wild pitch, an error and a RBI single from Camden Sapp to go ahead 7-0.

"They're solid, 1-9 in their lineup," NMCC head coach Joe McClarty said. "They've got experienced bats and got good hitters. When we made a mistake today they punished us."

Smith put the game out of reach in the top of the fifth with his second home run -- a three-run blast to left-centerfield -- of the afternoon.

"Trey squared some balls up today," Kolons said. "And when Trey squares balls up, they go."

Smith's second home run chased Campbell from the game after 4 2/3 innings on the mound. The Bulldogs tagged NMCC's top arm for eight earned runs on 108 pitches. Campbell, who had battled sickness last week, struck out six and walked five.

"He'd been sick all last week and he tried to come out here and battle his butt off," McClarty said about Campbell. "That's no excuse though. He was just one pitch away sometimes. Credit Sikeston. They had a great game at the plate."

With Sikeston's offense humming, Gilmer had more than enough cushion to slow down NMCC at the plate.

Sikeston starter Will Gilmer delivers a pitch to a New Madrid County Central batter Monday, March 20, 2017, at Eagle Park in New Madrid, Mo.
(Chris Pobst/Standard Democrat)
The junior right-hander struck out seven, walked none and allowed three singles on 61 pitches in four innings of work.

"He was really spotting up his fastball and keeping them off-balance," Kolons said. "The biggest thing is that he had no walks today. That's huge."

NMCC's biggest threat against Gilmer was in the fourth inning when Chase Silman and Brian Sylvester hit back to back, two-out singles. Gilmer caught Gabe York looking in the next at-bat to end the inning.

"He kept the ball down and kept us off-balance," McClarty said about Gilmer.

Wyatt Pratt pitched the final inning for Sikeston walking two and striking out one before getting out of the jam unscathed to end the game on the 10-run mercy rule.

NMCC (0-1, 0-1 SEMO Conference) finished with three hits and two errors on the day.

"We just have to sure some things up defensively," McClarty said. "We let a few balls drop. We've got some new guys in new positions... First game of the year, we've got 26 more of these things to go, so we'll get it fixed."

The Eagles are back in action today when they host Caruthersville at 4:30 p.m.

Sikeston will be on the road Thursday against East Prairie and play their home-opener on Friday against SEMO Conference mate Jackson. Both games are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.

Sikeston 025 03 -- 10 8 0

NMCC 000 00 -- 0 3 2

WP -- Will Gilmer. LP -- Palmer Campbell. 2B -- Will Pratt (S). HR -- Max Ault (S), Trey Smith (S) 2. Multiple hitters: Sikeston -- Trey Smith 2-4, Wyatt Pratt 2-3.

JV -- Sikeston won 9-6.