SIKESTON -- The Union City (Tenn.) Greyhounds remained in hot pursuit of Kitty League leader Farmington with a 13-3 win over the Sikeston Bootheel Bombers on Thursday at V.F.W. Stadium.
The Bombers (11-17) never got it going against the Greyhounds (21-7), who led throughout.
Sikeston starter and loser Trey Bowman struggled with his control but battled through 5 1/3 innings to take a little pressure off the Bombers' depleted pitching staff.
"Our starter just didn't have it tonight," said Bomber manager Matt Marshall, "but I had to keep him out there as long as I could because we've got a stretch of 10-games in 10 days coming up. He toughed it out and did the best he could for us."
Bowman, who left trailing 8-2, surrendered eight hits and issued 11 walks. He escaped several jams as Union City stranded 12 baserunners during his stint.
"Sometimes you get off the bus and your legs aren't quite under you yet and you leave some guys in scoring position early," said Union City manager David Hogue. "But our guys have done a good job all year long of really coming through late in ballgames and pushing the lead out or coming back and keeping ourselves in a game."
True to form, the Greyhounds exploded for seven of their 15-hit total and five runs in the final two frames with a roster newcomer and a regular outfielder on the mound for the Bombers.
A bright spot for the Bombers was the relief work of Vance Taylor, who spelled Bowman and hurled 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
On the offensive side, the Bombers rapped eight hits, plating single runs in the first, fifth and eighth innings.
Jared Elmore and Ingel Silva stroked two hits apiece. Scott DeLoach, Billy Puckett, Kyle Tennant and Dan Robbins had one hit each.
Billy Davis, who allowed two runs on six hits in seven strong innings, picked up the win for Union City.
The Greyhounds, dominant over third-place Sikeston and last-place Fulton, have now closed to within two games of first-place Farmington.
Said Hogue, "Farmington has won eight of 12 against us, but they've been tight--four one-run games and three went extra innings."
On the health of the upstart Kitty League, Hogue added, "I've been really pleased with the league, as a whole, and I think there's a lot of room for growth in the future. This is something that's needed and wanted in this area of the country."
According to Hogue, Union City, which features several Division I players from the University of Memphis and U.T. Martin, has drawn an average attendance of about 200 per game.
The Bombers visit the Greyhounds for a single contest today.