(David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulls were back in action Tuesday night at VFW Stadium after a short All-Star break.
On Public Safety night at the park, the Bulls came in riding the heels of an eight-game losing streak and looked to get back to winning form against the visiting Union City Greyhounds.
However, Sikeston's failure to execute on offense combined with three costly errors led to another close loss, falling 2-1 to the Greyhounds.
The game stood scoreless until the top of the third inning when the visiting Greyhounds' leadoff batter, Justin Gauthier, beat out a ground ball to the shortstop Robert Hohler hit deep in the hole. The next batter, Rafael Hill, hit a line drive to third baseman Michael Sadler who couldn't make the play.
Zach Hudson then singled up the middle, followed by the cleanup hitter Blake McDade who drove in the first run of the game for the Union City squad.
The Bulls came out swinging in the sixth inning when first baseman Troy Sitton hit a double to right field. Dominic Gregali was then walked, which put runners at first and second base. Sitton was then retired at third base when a sacrifice bunt didn't get far enough away from the catcher.
The next batter, Sadler, hit a line drive through the hole between third base and shortstop to load the bases. The number nine hitter Ryan Poole then drove in the Bulls' first run of the game by hitting a single past the third baseman. The Greyhounds' then ended the threat by getting the Bulls' leadoff hitter Scott Hudgins to fly out to center field.
Union City bounced back in the eighth inning when the number eight batter hit a double to the gap, then took third base on a passed ball. He would score on another passed ball in the same at-bat.
The Bulls battled to the end by threatening in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs. With runners on first and second base, Gregali struck out swinging to end the game.
Both teams were charged with three errors apiece, but it was the lack of getting the bunts down that frustrated head coach Jamie Puckett.
"When you can't move runners over without any outs in an inning, you can't win ballgames" Puckett said. "We had 12 hits, and only plated one run." Puckett also stated that the two runs that Union City scored were both unearned and that didn't help matters.
He says he's looking forward to the playoffs starting next week because everybody starts off with a 0-0 record, and hopefully they will have their mistakes corrected.
The leading hitters for the Sikeston Bulls were Poole, 2-3 with an RBI, and Sitton, 3-5 with two doubles and a single.
The Bulls will be back in action tonight, facing the Union City Greyhounds at VFW Stadium at 7 p.m.