SIKESTON -- The Bootheel Bombers literally threw this ballgame away.
The Bombers took a 2-1 lead into the top of the ninth inning, but a couple of errant throws and a wild pitch allowed three unearned runs to cross the plate in a 4-2 loss to the Fulton Railroaders at V.F.W. Stadium on Monday.
Fulton opened the ninth with two hits off Bomber reliever Tyler Nelson, who had entered the game in the eighth and pitched out of a one-out bases-
A key play in the inning was a fine hustle play by catcher Scott DeLoach who retrieved a passed ball and made a diving tag of a Fulton runner coming home with the potential game-tying tally.
Nelson, a righthander out of Oran High School, quelled the Railroaders' threat by retiring a pinch-hitter on a strikeout for the third out.
With Fulton runners on first and second and no outs, Dan Robbins relieved Nelson and it all began to unravel for the Bombers.
DeLoach, the hero an inning earlier, overthrew Robbins on a throwback to the mound as the lead baserunner went to third. A wild pitch sent the game-tying run home and advanced the potential go-ahead runner to third base.
A walk and a hit batsman loaded the bases with one out, then Robbins, on a 3-2 count, lost the hitter to walk home the go-ahead run for a 3-2 Fulton lead.
Another sloppy throwback to the pitcher sent home an insurance run for a 4
-2 Railroaders' lead.
Fulton reliever Hector Garcia picked up the win with three successive strikeouts in the Bombers' half of the ninth.
The late-inning miscues wiped out a solid effort by starting pitcher Adam Riley, who left with a 2-1 lead on a six-hitter after 7 1/3 innings. Riley had engaged in a splendid pitching duel with Fulton starter Miguel Garcia.
The Bombers scored a run in the third on DeLoach's RBI single, then added the go-ahead run in the sixth on Matt Bucher's RBI groundout. Jared Elmore and Adam Harper led the Bombers' seven-hit offense with two hits apiece.
The Bombers, who fell to 10-14, remained in third place in the four-team Kitty League, while cellar-dwelling Fulton improved to 5-17.
The Bombers host league-leading Farmington today at 7 p.m.