Cape Girardeau gets crushed by defending state champion Festus

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ford & Sons fell 10-1 for its fourth straight defeat.

Festus annually fields one of the state's top American Legion baseball teams, and this year's edition continued its strong season Wednesday night by routing Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons.

Scoring early and often, visiting Festus pounded out a 10-1 victory at Capaha Field. The game went just seven innings as was agreed upon prior to the contest.

"They're always a really tough team," Cape manager Dave Meyr said.

Festus is the defending state champion. Although manager Pat Bone said his team lost nine players from that group and returned just three starters, he expects to again be major contenders.

"I feel good about our team," Bone said. "I think we'll be there again, knocking on the door."

Bone said the main problem for Festus (14-4) so far this year has been a lack of activity caused by numerous rainouts.

"We've only played 18 games, which is not very many. We've had a lot of bad luck with the rainouts," Bone said. "Until recently we haven't had an opportunity to play a lot of games consistently. We just need to play."

Cape (13-16) has played 11 more games than Festus, although Ford & Sons is reeling with four consecutive losses.

"But we usually have really good games with them," Bone said.

Not Wednesday night. Festus banged out 17 hits -- many of them loud -- while limiting Cape to only two hits, one of the infield variety.

"Give them credit. They really hit the ball," Meyr said.

Cody Stites led Festus with three hits. Six other players had two hits each, including Ryan Stagner, who drove in three runs.

Festus scored a run in the first inning and began to pull away with three in the second. The visitors added one in the third, four in the fifth and one in the sixth.

Ford & Sons scored its lone run in the fifth, taking advantage of its only two hits. Cody Schaefer doubled with one out, was balked to third and came home on a two-out infield single by Eric Ennis.

Kirk Boeller took the loss, allowing 15 hits and 10 runs -- nine earned -- in six innings. Lance Young allowed two hits but struck out the side in a scoreless seventh.

Left-hander Kyle Byrd, the first of three Festus pitchers, worked four hitless innings for the victory.

Cape, which will get another crack at Festus July 14 on the road, begins play Friday in the Ballwin tournament.

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