Ford & Sons defeats Perryville 12-0, 10-0.
By Marty Mishow ~ Southeast Missourian
Cape Girardeau's Ford & Sons American Legion baseball team took advantage of a struggling Perryville squad to finally climb back above the .500 mark.
Ford & Sons swept a lopsided doubleheader Monday night, romping 12-0 in five innings and 10-0 in six innings as both games ended early on the run rule. Cape improved to 9-8 while Perryville fell to 1-15.
"It's good to be back over .500 again," Cape manager Tom Reinagel said.
Cape last had a winning record at 3-2 before suffering through a five-game losing streak. But since that low water mark, Ford & Sons has reeled off six wins in seven games.
"I know Perryville is struggling, but we're just playing good ball right now," said Reinagel, whose squad has committed only one error in its last six games, that coming in Monday's second contest. "We're starting to hit and we're playing good defense."
Said Cape shortstop Seth Hudson, "We're getting relaxed and coming together as a team. We're picking each other up. All year we knew we had this in us. It's all meshing together now."
Cape scores early, often
There was never any suspense Monday as Cape scored eight runs in the first inning of the opener and never looked back. Ford & Sons had 21 hits in the two games -- including four triples and four doubles -- while limiting Perryville to just three harmless singles.
"We're finally hitting the ball and our pitching is coming around great," Ford & Sons second baseman Luke McClellan said. "We almost had two no-hitters tonight."
In the 12-0 opener, Lee Essner allowed just one baserunner in five innings, that coming on Jason Pruesser's clean single to left field in the fourth. Pruesser was caught stealing as Essner faced the minimum 15 batters. He struck out eight.
Cape banged out 14 hits. Matt Wulfers tripled and doubled to drive in two runs. Hudson, Tyler Schlosser, Blake Urhahn and Kyle Diveley all added two hits, with Schlosser delivering two RBIs.
Sean Bard wasn't far off Essner's performance in the 10-0 second game as he allowed two hits in 5 1/3 innings for the win. Bard struck out four and walked three.
"That's the most Sean has thrown and I thought he looked good," Reinagel said.
Hudson came on in the sixth with the bases loaded and one out to strike out two and preserve the shutout, which became official in the bottom of the sixth as Cape scored four runs to go up by 10, the game-ending tally coming on Dustin McKinnis' RBI single.
Ford & Sons had just seven hits in the nightcap but made them count. McClellan had three hits and four RBIs as he finished the night with four hits and five RBIs.
"I figured we'd be playing like this all year," McClellan said.
Wulfers and Schlosser both finished the night with three hits. Wulfers drove in three runs.