Pitching carries Cape

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Cape's Brad LaBruyere delivered a pitch Monday.

Brad LaBruyere posted his second straight shutout for Cape.

The Central duo of Brad LaBruyere on the mound and Alex Shell behind the plate continued to work its magic for Cape Girardeau's American Legion team, shutting down Dunklin County in an 8-0 district win Monday at Capaha Field.

LaBruyere picked up his second straight district shutout as Post 63 improved to 2-0 in district play. Dunklin County came back to win the second game, a non-district contest, 8-3. Cape is 9-3 overall.

LaBruyere has allowed just two earned runs through three starts. He held Dunklin County to two hits -- Dunklin County had just one hit after the first inning -- struck out six and walked none.

"Everything was going real well tonight," Shell said. "He was hitting his spots. He had a great slider. His slider was working good the whole game. Usually if he doesn't have all his pitches going, he always has one he can go to, and that's what you need."

Ford & Sons American Legion batter Matt Hester singled during the third inning against Dunklin County on Monday night at Capaha Field. (Fred Lynch)

LaBruyere retired 16 straight batters following a first-inning single by Jeremy Patton. Two batters reached in the seventh on an error and a single, but LaBruyere retired the next two batters to end the game.

"He keeps them off balance, that's what he does well," Cape manager Dave Meyr said. "Brad knows what he wants to do out there and he just gets the job done."

Cape Ford & Sons gave LaBruyere an early lead to work with, scoring a first-inning run off Dunklin County starter Dustin Hunter. Hunter hit leadoff hitter Matt Hester in the helmet, and two batters later Blake Slattery crushed a double off the left-field fence to score him.

Mark Himmelberg gave Cape some breathing room in the fourth with an RBI single. Zach Plott and Hester had back-to-back two-out singles, and Himmelberg brought Plott in.

"We just feel like if we can get Brad a couple runs we have a real good chance," Meyr said.

Blake Slattery was met by Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons American Legion teammates after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of the first game against Dunklin County on Monday night at Capaha Field. (Fred Lynch)

Cape opened things up in the fifth with three runs on five hits. LaBruyere opened the inning with a double, and Post 63 started the inning with four straight hits. David Sanders, Plott and Cody Tellor each had RBI singles in the inning.

Shell, LaBruyere, Hester, Himmelberg and Slattery had two hits apiece for Post 63.

"Everyone's poking it pretty good," Shell said. "We've had about 10 home runs and we've only played 10 games. That's pretty good."

Shell is among the team's top hitters so far, hitting close to .400. He hit .347, the second-highest average for the Tigers, during the high school season.

"I do what I can," Shell said. "I wouldn't say my bat is my strength. I would say my defense is my strength, but I do what I can for the team."

Slattery added a solo home run to right field in the sixth, and Colin Crane added an RBI double to end the scoring. Post 63 had 15 total hits in the win.

In the second game, Slattery added two more hits, including a triple. LaBruyere, Sanders and Joe Uhls had RBIs in the loss for Post 63.

Steven Houseman of Anna-Jonesboro made his season debut on the mound for Post 63 in the second game. Houseman, who was coming off a leg injury, lasted 3 2/3 innings. Control was the problem for Houseman, who walked five and hit two batters.

He is one of many new faces on the team this year, a group that includes LaBruyere and Hester.

"All the new guys are filling in real well," Meyr said. "I think they continue to improve every game."

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