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Jackson wins SEMO Conference tournament in nine innings
Jackson's relentless aggressiveness on the bases paid off in the championship game of the SEMO Conference baseball tournament Monday night at Capaha Field.
The Indians stole four bases in a six-run rally in the top of the ninth inning and held on for an 8-6 victory against top-seeded Sikeston.
The Bulldogs, who have appeared in every SEMO Conference tournament championship game since the tournament began in 2001, have now lost the last three title games. The Bulldogs (14-6) lost to Notre Dame in 2005 and to Central last year.
Third-seeded Jackson (14-7) ended the game's streak of five consecutive scoreless innings with six runs in the top of the ninth, and Sikeston rallied to bring the winning run to the plate before Logan Lawson closed the door on the comeback.
The Indians had seven consecutive batters reach base in a one-out rally that blew open a tight, well-played contest.
Blake Reiminger singled and stole second base for Jackson's fourth of seven steals on the night. Reiminger came home on Caleb Guilliams' double to the left-center field gap.
That ended the night for Sikeston starter Joey Williams, who had thrown more than 125 pitches in his 8 1/3 innings.
But the scoring parade continued against Jerod Scott, as Sikeston made three errors behind him.
An error on Matt Lang's grounder to shortstop allowed Guilliams to score. Luke Crader followed with a single that sent Lang to third base. Crader then stole second and the throw into center field allowed Lang to score Jackson's fifth run and put Crader on third base. He scored on a wild pitch.
Rex Meyr, who was 3-for-4 for Jackson, walked. As he was attempting to steal second, Lawson shot a single into right that sent Meyr to third. Lawson advanced to second on the throw to third. Meyr then stole home and Lawson advanced to third on the tail end of the double steal.
Andy Winkleblack then hit a grounder that was misplayed, scoring Lawson for Jackson's sixth run of the inning.
It was a tough loss for Sikeston starter Williams. He scattered six hits over the first eight innings.
Sikeston nearly came all the way back with four runs in the bottom of the ninth. It had five hits against Lawson that inning, and had the bases loaded with just one out. But Lawson got Scott on a fielder's choice that brought in Sikeston's sixth run, and then he struck out Tyler Dame to end the game.
Lawson relieved Caleb Hosey to start the fifth inning and shut out Sikeston over his first four innings of work on one hit. He finished with seven strikeouts in five innings.