They still play baseball in Sturgeon.
Head Coach Kevin Hicks and the Sturgeon Bulldogs proved it the afternoon of May 16 when they beat the Cairo Bearcats 5-2 in eight innings. The feat was even more memorable because Sturgeon went into the district tournament with a 3-11 record and won the championship by beating the 14-4 Bearcats.
“We showed a little bit of heart, a little bit of will,” Hicks said after the Bulldogs held off Cairo’s eighth-inning surge to clinch the championship. He said Cairo’s starting pitcher Bryce Taylor’s clever use of curve and fast balls during the right time of the count gave the Bulldog batters some pause. “He was catching us guessing.”
Hicks complimented the work of Trenton Bolles at second base. “He made some outstanding plays out there.”
He was also pleased with Dakota Dubea at the plate. “Two big-time base hits for us.”
Regarding Monday’s sectional play-off game, 6 p.m., at home against Canton, Hicks said they would be working on their bunting and other short-ball techniques between now and the first pitch. “That is one area we’re concerned about. It’s one of those things we’ve got to do better.”
The Bulldogs wanted it more, that is one way of interpreting Bearcats Coach Morgan Matthews explanation of a loss that saw them leading Sturgeon 2-1 until the top of the seventh inning.
“Ultimately they kept battling,” he said. “They put the pressure on us and we kind of folded. . . They did a good job of constantly putting the ball in play and got a couple guys on and knocked some things around.”
Jacob Brooks started for Sturgeon. Jake Snider relieved him in the sixth.
For more, please see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.