(Photo by Chris Moore, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulls made the game interesting for one inning, then let it get totally out of hand in the top of the ninth inning of Thursday night's Kitty League game against Union City at VFW Memorial Stadium.
Sikeston scored five runs in the final two innings, but it wasn't enough in a 15-6 loss to the Greyhounds.
The Bulls' Tyson Mulvaney represented the tying run at the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth. But after a 12-pitch at-bat, Union City's Mark Jobe was able to get him to fly out to centerfield to end the threat.
The wheels then fell completely off for the Bulls (13-33) in the top of the ninth as Union City piled up seven runs to blow the game open, making the score 15-4.
Sikeston did manage two more runs in the bottom of the ninth, but the game mercifully ended with a runner stranded on second, one of 14 the Bulls left on base.
But the worst part of the night for Sikeston was the free passes the Bulls issued the Greyhounds.
Starting pitcher David Reynolds and reliever Gavin Mitchell combined for 16 walks and two hit batters. The Bulls' defense didn't help matters as they committed four errors in the game.
Reynolds, who threw six innings, was saddled with the loss, allowing eight runs off nine hits with 10 walks and three strikeouts.
Union City (27-20) struck early, taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Sikeston blew numerous chances to score, failing to score in the bottom of the first with the bases loaded and nobody out.
The Bulls also left the bases loaded in the second inning without scoring a run.
The trend continued the rest of the night.
Union City tacked on a run in the top of the fourth and three more in the fifth to lead 6-0.
Sikeston finally broke the shutout in the bottom of the fifth when Craig Session tripled and scored on Bo Whitaker's single.
Union City extended the lead to 8-1 in the top of the seventh on a two-run home run by Rafael Hill.
The Bulls made things interesting in the bottom of the eighth as they plated three runs, but they couldn't get any closer. Benjamin Strother and Adam Darby each had run-scoring singles in the inning.
Greg Dees had a two-run double to account for both Bulls runs in the bottom of the ninth.
Dees led the Bulls, going 2-4 with two RBIs. Jamie Puckett went 2-5 with an RBI and Tyler Martin went 2-5 with two runs.
Union City's Brooks Thornton went 4-5 with two runs and two RBIs. Daniel Furuto was 3-6. Hill had a bases clearing triple to go with his home run to push his RBI total to six for the night.
Marc Ashley and Tyler Owen each collected two hits for the Greyhounds.
Daniel Calhoun was the winning pitcher for Union City, going seven innings and limiting the Bulls to one run off six hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
Union City ripped 16 hits in the game while the Bulls had 11 hits.
Sikeston plays a doubleheader against Union City tonight at 5 p.m. at VFW Stadium.