MVP Sports Channel

From The Mean Streets Of Mound City | Tigers

Local sports from eastern Missouri, the Bootheel and beyond

by Mickey Mounds

 

Welcome Kentuckians, Tennesseans and fans from the Heartland to a new weekly column on MVP Sports Channel. One writer’s clumsy attempt to provide news and notes on local prep and college sports, from Paducah to St. Louis and beyond.

And since March wouldn’t be complete without the tink! of aluminum bats echoing down neighborhood streets, we’ll start by looking at the young baseball season.

 

SEMO Redhawks Help Douse Mizzou’s Fire

In St. Louis, the Missouri Tigers are cared for as an adopted “hometown” NCAA power-conference program. But Tiger baseball does not often get as much metropolitan media attention as it is getting now.

The club from Columbia has been special in 2017, reeling off an amazing 20-game winning streak that included a 3-game sweep of Alabama and a 2-game sweep of Texas A&M. Freshman Brian Sharp is batting .371 through 24 games, while Australian infielder Robbie Glendinning owns a .624 slugging % along with possibly the coolest baseball name ever.

That other shoe always drops somewhere. Missouri (21-4, 6-2 SEC) lost 2 games to conference-opponent Arkansas in a 3-game series last weekend. Then the Tigers immediately lost again…to a familiar rival.

The Southeast Missouri Redhawks (12-10, 4-5 Ohio Valley) visited their old coach in Columbia on Tuesday and won the ballgame 6 to 5, providing a welcome morale boost in a so-far-disappointing season. 8 out of 9 starters slugged hits for the ‘Hawks, and talented senior Clayton Evans dinged a home run.

New SEMO skipper Andy Sawyers made an unorthodox move in the 8th inning, calling right-handed senior Clay Chandler onto the mound to protect a 1-run lead. Chandler is a starting-rotation pitcher who had never recorded a save before Tuesday afternoon. But the gambit worked, as the veteran hurler shut out the Tigers in the final 2 innings.

Desperate times. Southeast may have already played its way out of contention in the OVC in 2017, fading into the pack after 3 straight Ohio Valley championships. Plus, a close loss to Missouri might have felt especially painful. There are always mixed feelings when a winning coach departs campus for greener pastures, especially when the squad struggles without him the following year.

Given the circumstances, there was simply no way Sawyers – and his Redhawks – were going to let Coach Steve Bieser and the Missouri Tigers off the hook.

 

Looking As Only We Can Look

Tigers

Weekly baseball coverage from the Show Me State on MVPSportsChannel.com

Following a terrific playoff bid last season, the 2017 Cape Girardeau Central Baseball Tigers have fought injury, scattered offense and nasty March weather, even tripping over tiny Scott City. HC Tatum Kitchen called his team “young, gritty and coachable” in a media presser – translated, that means the Orange and Black are not as athletic as they were a year ago.

But the Tigers, who allow their seniors a hand in the social media department (we’re guessing) have possibly the most charming/entertaining Facebook page of any prep team in Missouri. The timeline is updated daily and littered with goodies, including a video clip of a coach showing off the distance of a legendary home run hit at the Varsity ballpark in the 90s.

Here’s the kicker (or the knee-dropper): Instead of cliché pep talks and slogans, Cape Central’s wall is full of vintage Ric Flair promo clips. Nope, not kidding.

Frankly, there are worse ways to try to keep a young team motivated…like not letting them have any fun. And don’t come in here with that silver belt and try to impress the world, Tully Blanchard.

 

Reports Batted-In

The Paducah Tilghman High School “Blue Tornado” has whipped through its opening slate, winning 9 in a row to begin the season before dropping a 3-2 final to Livingston Central. The squad has given up less than a run per game, and should have no trouble dispatching Lyon County this weekend.

Meanwhile in lead country…the Potosi (MO) Trojans are a perfect 4-0 but have been rained out twice trying to meet Salem. Keep an eye on Devan DeClue, a swift contact-hitting senior who starred in a double-header against St. Pius X. A high-anxiety clash with Hillsboro High School awaits…if it ever stops raining.

 

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