of-three KIT League Tournament second-round series Tuesday night against the No. 1 seed Fulton Railroaders at VFW Stadium.
The No. 5 seed Bulls pulled ahead early, 1-0, on the Railroaders in the second inning when Troy Sitton singled past a diving Fulton first baseman to start the frame. He later moved to second and scored on a hit-and-run by Mason Mosby.
The Bulls flashed some leather in the third inning by turning a double play. When a line drive to right fielder Mosby was caught, he fired the ball to first base to double off Railroaders baserunner Alan Bolden to preserve the Sikeston lead.
The Railroaders evened the score in the fifth, when a lined shot to left field skipped past the Bulls' Michael Sadler. The Sikeston outfielder allowed Shannon Anderson's single to get by him for two-base error and Fulton had a runner standing at third. Trent Bierman drove in Anderson on a sacrifice fly to bring in Fulton's first run of the game.
Each team left two runners on base over the next two innings, until the Bulls regained the lead in the seventh. Sikeston's Ryan Poole, who had singled to begin the inning, scored from second base on a passed ball that Fulton catcher Drew Robertson could not locate. But the Bulls left another runner on base to end the inning.
Quickly, Fulton responded in the eighth with consecutive singles, followed by two walks -- one of which forced in a run.
The parade of walks brought a pitching change for the Bulls. Robert Anders, who had pitched 7 1/3 innings of solid baseball, allowing only two earned runs on four hits, was relieved by Jeremy Brinkmeyer.
After a single brought home another Fulton run, Brinkmeyer enduced a double play ball back to the mound to stop the bleeding.
The Railroaders tacked on one more run in the ninth. That was too much for Sikeston to overcome, as the Bulls went quietly in their final at-bat.
Chris Craycraft, who threw a complete game for Fulton, walked the first Sikeston hitter of the inning, but fanned the next three to close out the game in fashion. He finished with 13 strikeouts, yielding eight hits and one earned run.
The leading hitters for the Bulls were Sitton, 2-for-4 with two singles and a run scored, and Poole, who also went 2-for-4 with two singles and a run scored.
"We played a good weekend. This one was a tough one, and they're a really good No. 1 seed," Puckett said.
The Bulls couldn't get their running game going, leaving six men on base. Sikeston, which had eight hits, did not acquire a single extra-base hit in the contest.
"Fulton connected with runners in scoring position. We just flat out didn't," Puckett said.
Puckett was impressed with his pitchers' performances, saying that "Rob (Anders) just pitched a heck of a game. I couldn't ask for more out of him."
Puckett said his gameplan in Game 2 of the series will be to add a little to the arsenal by running more, and trying to move the runners over more efficiently.
Lance Young will get the nod tonight in Fulton, Ky., as the Bulls and the Railroaders square off in Game 2. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.