Cape Legion wins tourney opener

Friday, June 18, 2010
Cape Girardeau Post 63's Skylar Cobb delivers a pitch to a Southern Illinois Swing batter during the SEMO Invitational tournament Thursday at Notre Dame Regional High School. Cape won 8-1. (KRISTIN EBERTS ~

Cobb strikes out 12 in an 8-1 victory in the SEMO Invitational

Skylar Cobb nearly was unhittable and Jimmy Obermark provided the offensive spark for the Cape Girardeau Post 63 Senior American Legion baseball team.

Cobb went six innings as Post 63 knocked off the Southern Illinois Swing 8-1 in its first SEMO Invitational game Thursday at Notre Dame Regional High School. He had 12 strikeouts and surrendered one walk and three hits.

"Skylar threw great today," Post 63 coach Todd Pennington said. "He was up in the zone a little bit but worked hard to get back in. He worked the inside part of the plate and really had his curveball working."

Post 63 did most of its offensive damage during a seven-run sixth inning.

Cape took a 1-0 lead into the inning and quickly extended the lead to 4-0 as the first five batters reached base safely. Blake Smith had the first big hit -- a two-run single -- in an inning that was capped by Obermark, who ripped the first pitch he saw over the left-center field fence for a grand slam. The blast came after Southern Illinois intentionally walked Dustin Crowden to load the bases.

"That was huge," Cobb said. "They walked Crowden, but we have Jimmy after him. That's who everyone overlooks. He's got a lot of power and that was a really big hit for us."

Cape plated its first run in the fourth inning. Crowden and Obermark opened the inning with back-to-back singles, and Crowden later scored from third when Josh Compas' one-out fly ball to right field was misplayed.

"We had a tough time the first couple of innings," Pennington said. "But we started getting the ball out in front of us and seeing the ball better."

Southern Illinois threatened in the top of the fifth when Cobb issued a walk to its leadoff hitter. After allowing a one-out single, Cobb struck out the next batter.

An alert play by Compas behind the plate extinguished the threat. Compas threw behind the runner at second with two outs, and the Southern Illinois player was tagged out in a rundown to end the inning.

It was the only inning where Cobb allowed more than one base runner.

"I just wanted to throw around the plate and throw strikes," said Cobb, a Scott City graduate who will play at Three Rivers next season. "I wanted my defense to work. I got a little wild in the fifth but then started to really hit my spots."

Obermark finished with three hits. Crowden scored two runs and was on base three times with one hit and two walks.

The Swing scored its lone run in the seventh inning off Post 63's Ronnie Scott.

Post 63 will play at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday at Notre Dame.

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