After four tries, Cape finally finds a way to beat Jackson

Sunday, July 11, 2004

It took the Cape Girardeau American Legion baseball team five tries, but Post 63 finally found a way to defeat the Jackson RE/MAX Achievers.

Cape Ford & Sons defeated Jackson 16-5 in a district contest, needing just seven innings at Cape Central.

"They were the better team today," said Jackson coach Mark Lewis, whose team has defeated Cape four times this season.

Post 63 coach Michael Minner said he was happy to get that elusive win against the Achievers.

"Any time you can get a win against those guys, it's nice," Minner said. "But, we played really well today."

Post 63 (14-20, 3-1) used an eight-run fourth inning to break open a 2-1 game. Jackson fell to 20-8, 1-3 with the loss.

After singles by Tony Leuckel and Jake Welch, Kent Deason drove in Leuckel. Jason Umfleet doubled to drive in two more against Jackson's Austin Morrison.

Now trailing 5-1, Morrison threw the ball away on Zac Hudson's bunt attempt. Hudson later scored on a wild pitch.

Leuckel, who led off the inning with a single, drove in Sean Bard and Scott Brueckner with a one-out double to give Cape a 10-1 lead.

"They hit the ball really well," Lewis said. "We couldn't get outs when we needed them, and we couldn't get hits when we needed to."

The Achievers bounced back to score four runs in the bottom of the inning with the benefit of two Ford & Sons errors.

"Both clubs, I think, didn't play well defensively," Lewis said. "We took advantage that inning, which is what we have to do."

Tyler Profilet and Brandon Cooper both singled, before Post 63 third baseman Kendal Deason committed two straight errors. Tim Stearns' grounder took a bad hop on Deason, and the ball scooted through into left field, allowing Profilet to score.

"We just had that one bad inning," Minner said. "But when you hit like we did, you can have one bad inning."

With runners on first and second, Chad Minson bunted down the third base line. Bard, Cape's first baseman, charged on the play while Brueckner went to cover first, and Deason threw the ball into right field. Trey Busch followed with a two-run double.

"Deason was just doing what he was supposed to be doing," Minner said. "But we butchered the bunt coverage."

Cape scored three runs in the seventh against relief pitcher Tony Longman in the seventh to get the mercy-rule win. Bard, who singled to drive in Kendal Deason, scored on a triple by Brueckner. Leuckel grounded to second to drive in the final run.

Zac Horman went the distance for Ford & Sons, allowing five hits and walking three with five strikeouts.

Kendal Deason led Cape's 20-hit attack with four hits and reached base five times and scored five runs. Bard and Kent Deason each had three hits.

Minner believes his team is improving as districts close in.

"I still think we have as good a chance as anybody to win districts," Minner said. "And after you win districts, anything can happen."

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