Ford & Sons ends eight-game losing streak

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Kirk Boeller's steady hand on the mound Wednesday at Capaha Field helped pull Cape Girardeau's American Legion team out of an eight-game losing streak, as Ford & Sons topped Jackson 6-2 in the opener of a doubleheader.

Ford & Sons' last win came at the Paducah Tournament on June 24. Cape was coming off an 0-4 mark at the Ballwin Tournament over the weekend.

"This was really a good win for us," Cape coach Dave Meyr said.

The outing was a stark contrast to Boeller's last home start a week ago against Festus, when he was touched up for 15 hits and nine earned runs in six innings.

Against Jackson, Boeller allowed just seven hits and one earned run in a complete-game victory. Boeller allowed two hits over the final four innings.

"I hope I can start getting back in my groove," Boeller said. "I lost it for a while. I was just throwing. I'm trying to get back to pitching."

Control was the key to Wednesday's opener. Boeller worked around the plate throughout the game and finished with just two walks, both in the seventh.

Walks were a problem for Boeller during his senior season at Notre Dame. Boeller walked 36 in 47 1/3 innings, but still was able to finish 5-2 with a 2.96 ERA.

"This year at Notre Dame, I had a lot of control problems, a lot of walks," Boeller said. "A hit would score a couple of runs. Walks kill you, but I'm starting to find the zone."

Jackson starter Nick Roe walked six batters with four coming around to score. Cape leadoff hitter Eric Ennis drove in a pair of runs, as Ford & Sons utilized the hit-and-run and took advantage of several wild pitches.

"Eric, he had a good night tonight," Meyr said. "We hit-and-ran and that worked for us a couple of times. That really helped."

Jackson got on the board first with a pair of hits from Taylor Busch and Logan Lawson and an errant throw to first on a double-play attempt. In the bottom of the first, Adam McMahan walked, and Lance Young roped a double to tie the score.

Ford & Sons took the lead for good with two runs in the second. Dane Balsmann led off with a single, Boeller walked, and Ennis and McMahan each provided RBI singles after Tyler Propst sacrificed the runners to second and third.

"We got the hits when we needed them today," Meyr said. "We played good defense today, and that helped a lot."

Balsmann and McMahan added RBIs for Cape. Balsmann, McMahan and Ennis each had two hits.

Roe lasted five innings for Jackson, allowing five runs on five hits. Along with his six walks, Roe struck out seven. Austin Morrison allowed a run in one inning of relief. Busch and Lawson had two hits apiece for Jackson.

Ford & Sons will be back in action at Farmington tonight, and still has plenty of time to get hot before the district tournament gets under way in less than two weeks. Cape has 11 games scheduled before the district tournament.

"Last year at this time, we were in the same position," Boeller said. "We were losing a lot of games and came back and started playing good ball with about five games left before district."

Jackson will host district opponent Dunklin County in a 6 p.m. doubleheader on Friday.

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