Legion rallies for tie, then tops Sikeston in 12 innings

Thursday, July 18, 2002

American Legion baseball games don't get much more unpredictable than Wednesday night's matchup between Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons and visiting Sikeston.

Cape scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to forge an 8-8 tie and force extra innings. Ford & Sons needed to score another two-out tally in the 10th -- on a home run by Josh Ford -- for a 9-9 tie, then won it 10-9 in the 12th on a leadoff homer by Dustin Tatum.

Throw in one baserunner in extra innings for each team being called out because of an illegal substitution and it was a zany night of baseball.

"It was crazy, but it was a real fun game," Ford said.

Cape improved to 19-14 overall and 8-3 in District 14 play while dropping Sikeston to 17-7 and 9-3. Ford & Sons closes out the regular season Friday night at Jackson.

"We saw a lot of good stuff from these kids tonight," Cape manager Tom Reinagel said. "What fight they had in them. This is a real big win for us, with the district tournament starting next week."

A late comeback

Ford & Sons trailed 8-3 entering its last chance in the bottom of the ninth and Cape had not had much success against Sikeston starter Blake DeWitt.

But Sikeston decided to change hurlers and Cape rallied against Mark Adam Wade and Lance Rhodes.

After Wade walked the first two batters, Rhodes came on and retired the next two. But Aaron Dohogne singled to load the bases, pinch-hitter Tyler Schlosser delivered a two-run single and, after a walk re-loaded the bases, Tatum's double into the left-field corner scored all three runners to tie the contest.

After Sikeston went ahead with a run in the top of the 10th, Dustin Klipfel walked to lead off the bottom of the frame but he was ruled out since he was batting in the designated hitter's spot and Cape should have lost its DH after one of its pitchers stayed in the game.

Undeterred, Ford lofted his two-out, game-tying homer just inside the right-field foul pole.

"I thought I got it good, but I thought it was going to go foul," Ford said.

In the top of the 11th, Sikeston appeared to score as Wade came home on a sacrifice fly. But Wade, wearing No. 7, had originally been penciled in on the lineup card as No. 9, the same number as Sikeston's Jake Priday. So Wade was technically an illegal substitution, meaning he was ruled out.

"Just about everything happened tonight," Reingal said.

Tatum provided the final drama when he blasted a shot off Adam Garrett way beyond the right-center fence leading off the bottom of the 12th to send Cape's players into a frenzy.

"It's the first time I've hit one that I totally knew was out," Tatum said. "It's a great feeling."

Jake Welch, recently brought up from Cape's Jr. Legion team, got the win in his first Sr. Legion outing. In 2 2/3 innings, he allowed no runs and one hit, with three strikeouts and no walks.

"What a job by Jake," Reinagel said.

Jeff Brosey provided 5 2/3 innings of strong relief, giving up four runs (three earned) and four hits. Starter Mark Wittenborn struggled with his control, allowing five runs and three hits in 3 2/3 innings. He walked six.

Ford had three of Cape's 12 hits. Tatum, Dohogne and Shane Kistner added two each.

Rhodes and Priday each had two of Sikeston's eight hits.


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