The Bulls continue to find new and exciting ways to win a game in their last at-bats. Last Friday at home, the Bulls defeated the Tennessee T's by scoring the winning run when the T's catcher threw wildly back to the pitcher.
On Friday night, the Bulls used their legs once again and some wildness from the Railroaders to secure the win.
With the score tied 2-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth, centerfielder Jared Elmore led off the inning with a single. Sikeston product Jamie Puckett was up next in a sacrifice situation.
Puckett laid down a perfect bunt to move over Elmore to second base. Railroaders third baseman Brandon Cadavid fielded the bunt and threw to first.
During the throw to first, Elmore rounded second base and used his jet-like speed to try and gain the extra base at third.
Brandon Bennett, first baseman for the Railroaders, caught the throw from Cadavid and then fired the ball towards third base. Unfortunately for Fulton, the throw was low and could not be handle at the base.
The ball rolled 10-feet from the bag at third and Elmore took off in a flash towards home.
The throw to home was late and Elmore scored the winning run for the Bulls.
"As soon as the ball got away from the third baseman," said Bulls manager Matt Marshall, "Jared was going. Before the play happened, Jamie and Jared discussed what was going to happen with the bunt and to be ready. They executed the game-plan to perfection. Jared is very aggressive and when you run like he does, you can afford to be aggressive. He is a heads-up player who is always looking to take the extra base. We put pressure on opposing teams and sometimes teams can't handle that pressure and good things happen for us."
Elmore was confident that his speed and instincts would provide good things for the Bulls.
"I checked third base and when I saw no one covering," said Elmore, "I have always been taught to haul butt and get the extra base. You have to get down and get dirty for the base. I thought the throw to third would be rushed, so I figured on a wild throw and a chance to advance home. Coach was in my ear saying, 'go, go, go!' It felt like a monkey was on my back trying to get to home plate. But I got there and it feels good to get a win for the team."
The game was a pitching duel throughout the contest with Sikeston starter Austin McDowell and Fulton starter Jimmy Gann going pitch-for-pitch.
McDowell went eight strong innings for the Bulls and gave up two earned runs with five scattered hits throughout the game. Gann went six plus innings and gave up no earned runs for the Railroaders.
"Our pitching has pitched well all season and has been our catalyst," said Marshall. "I am real proud of our pitching staff. We have played well all season, but we were on the wrong side of a one-run game. Hopefully our luck is changing in that aspect. The guys played their hearts out tonight and really got it done."
Fulton looked to be in control of the game, as the Railroaders led 2-0 after five innings over the Bulls.
Catcher Zak Shy got the scoring going for Fulton with a solo home run in the top of the second inning.
In the fifth, Cadavid had an RBI single that scored Daniel Beasley to up the lead to 2-0 heading into the sixth.
The Bulls have had issues all season getting runners in while on base. Friday night was no exception. Fulton left four runners on base, while the Bulls could not get a clutch hit throughout the contest and left 10 runners on base in the game.
The Bulls got on the board in the bottom of the sixth as Bo Whitaker singled, stole second and third base and scored from third on a wild throw by the Fulton catcher.
Sikeston tied the score in the bottom of the eighth, as Whitaker doubled and scored on a two out single to right field by Nate Bloom. Whitaker had a good night for the Bulls going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases.
"Hands down," said Marshall, "Bo carried us to the point that we were at in the ninth. He had an outstanding game. Every night it seems we have someone step up for us. It is nice because we don't have to rely on one guy, we have a team full of players who can produce for us."
For Whitaker, having a game-plan at the plate paid off.
"We played well in all aspects of the game tonight," said Whitaker. "Our pitching and defense was excellent and carried us to the win. Sometimes you have a good day at the plate and today was mine. I was looking for fastballs early in the count. I just battled and fought and tried to put the ball in play."
Fulton (4-3) threatened to break the tie in the top of the ninth. Jeremy Finney of Fulton opened the inning with a single. McDowell was relieved by closer Dan Robbins.
After a sacrifice bunt that sent Finney over to second base, Jud Powers single to put Railroader runners on first and third with one out.
From that point, Robbins shut the door on Fulton and the rally. Robbins struck out Shy and got Beasley of the Railroaders to ground into a fielder's choice.
"Dan did a nice job of shutting them down in the ninth," said Marshall. "It was an impressive performance, but at the same time I expect that of him. His role is to be the stopper and we expect him to shut down the opposing team."
Besides the outstanding offensive performance of Whitaker, Elmore had a good game with two hits, a run scored and a stolen base.
Sikeston (3-6) played the Railroaders on Saturday and the Owensboro Oilers on Sunday. Results were not available at press time.
Sikeston 3, Fulton 2
WP - Dan Robbins (1-1)
LP - Kirk Shoemate (0-1)
HR - Zak Shy (F)
2B - Bo Whitaker (S)
Multiple hitters- Sikeston: Whitaker 3-4, Jared Elmore 2-4. Fulton: Brandon Cadavid 2-3.