Cape Girardeau Senior Legion baseball team drops pair to Dunklin

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Post 63 pitcher Alex Davie fields a bunt during the third inning of Wednesday's first game at Capaha Field. Check out more photos at (ADAM VOGLER)

Wednesday's District 14 matchup with Dunklin County pretty much summarized how things have been going lately for the Ford & Sons Cape Girardeau Senior American Legion Post 63 baseball team.

Host Cape was in the game until the end and very easily could have come away with a victory.

But a failure to capitalize on some strong scoring chances and a key error helped doom Cape to a 7-4 loss in the opener of a doubleheader at Capaha Field.

"We're not getting a whole lot of breaks and we're not creating any breaks," Cape coach Steve Williams said.

Post 63, which fell to 2-2 in district play and is 12-16 overall, suffered its ninth straight defeat. Most of the setbacks have been close.

Post 63 baserunner Jesse Schott runs for home to score during the first inning of Wednesday's first game at Capaha Field. (ADAM VOGLER)

"In one- and two-run games, you can't make mistakes in the field and you have to capitalize on your chances," Williams said.

Cape got off to a strong start, which had not been its norm lately. It built a 4-0 lead through four innings.

"We started off good. We haven't been doing that lately," Post 63 pitcher Alex Davie said. "But we didn't finish."

Dunklin County also had been scuffling, so coach Jamie Johnson was happy to come away with the victory.

The defending District 14 tournament champion A's are just 14-12 overall, well off their usual strong pace.

"It's a big win for us, especially in district," said Johnson, whose squad improved to 2-1 in district play. "We've been struggling lately."

Williams and Johnson both credited Dunklin County pitcher Logan Blackburn for hanging tough after he gave up the four early runs, although just two were earned. The A's hurt themselves with five errors.

"We had a chance to get him out early, and we couldn't do it," said Williams, whose club stranded the bases loaded in the fifth inning and left eight runners in the game.

Blackburn allowed five hits over the first three innings but just three hits over the final four frames. He struck out four and walked two.

"I thought he really settled down and threw better in the later innings," Johnson said.

Davie took the loss. He allowed seven hits and five runs over five innings. He struck out four and walked three.

Cape had only two errors, but one helped get the A's going when they scored three runs in the fifth inning to cut their deficit to 4-3. Just one of those runs was earned.

"I started off real good, but I just started leaving stuff up," Davie said. "I don't know if I was tired."

Dunklin County went ahead for good with two runs in the sixth inning. Both scored after Davie was out of the game, although they were charged to him.

Hunter Cook and Brett Luna both singled with nobody out. Davie threw a ball to Jacob Trammell, and Williams decided Davie was done for the night.

Luke Hinkebein finished a walk to Trammell to load the bases. The tying run scored on a ground ball, and a hit batter reloaded the bases.

Blackburn recorded the go-ahead RBI when his ground ball out plated Luna.

"Our guys kept battling," Johnson said.

Cape appeared set to at least tie the contest in its half of the sixth inning. Alex McRaven singled with two outs and stole second base. Ryan Siebert's fly ball to short center field was caught by a diving Justin Norman.

The A's added two insurance runs in the seventh inning. One was charged to Hinkebein and one to Ronnie Scott. Luna had an RBI double and Trammell an RBI single. Both came with two outs.

Hinkebein struck out three and did not allow a hit over 1 2/3 innings. He walked two.

"We got to four and we stopped scoring, which was bad because they scored in the last three innings," Williams said.

Cape grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Jesse Schott had an RBI double and Andrew Williams an RBI single. Both were with two outs.

Post 63 scored unearned runs in the third and fourth innings off just one hit before the A's rallied.

Schott and Brent Taylor both had two of Cape's eight hits. Luna and Bryce Wallace both had two of the visitors' nine hits.

Cape's losing streak reached 10 games with a 12-10 setback in the non-district nightcap.

Taylor had three of Cape's 10 hits. Andrew Williams added two hits. Aaron Wendel was the losing pitcher.

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