Union faced the University of Alabama Huntsville at home this past weekend, losing both games of the double-header Saturday and winning the game Sunday to end the series on a positive note.
In game one, neither team scored for five innings. At the top of the sixth, UAH brought in their first run on a sacrifice fly and continued to accumulate runs throughout the next two innings, leading the game in the top of the eighth with a score of 5-0.
In the bottom of the eighth, Dylan Moore and Ryne Roper both hit singles to left field, scoring Austin Orr then Zach Wylie, but the final score stayed at 5-2. Teddie Christie started that game, pitching six and one-third innings until reliever Andrew Wilson came in to pitch the remaining two and two-third innings.
UAH began game two with an early 1-0 lead after a home run in the second at-bat, and the Chargers scored one more run in the top of the second. The bases were loaded for Union in the fifth inning with just one out, but UAH made a double play on a grounder, the rest of the game remaining scoreless. The final score stayed at 2-0, making it Union’s fourth time to be shutout this season.
Marty Coursey stayed on the mound for Union that whole game, giving up only one run.
“The theme Saturday was we had great pitching but couldn’t get enough hits,” said Ryne Roper, junior elementary education major. “That’s pretty much been the story for a lot of games this year.”
The last game of the series had a better turnout for Union. After scoring five runs in the bottom of the third, the Bulldogs added two more to the scoreboard in the fourth, one on an error and the other an RBI.
UAH earned their first run on a homer to left center in the top of the fifth, but Union came back in the seventh inning when Ryne Roper hit his first homer of the season to left field and Bailey Holbrook scored on an RBI.
“We got on the board first, and that was big,” Roper said. “Skyler pitched great. The other team made several errors, so we caught a break from that.”
After earning just one run in the ninth, UAH lost with a final score of 9-2. Skyler Harrison started on the mound for Union that game and went eight and one-third innings until Joe Hudson came in to close. Each batter in Union’s lineup was responsible for either a run scored or an RBI in that game.
“Yesterday, our bats just kind of came alive,” said Bailey Holbrook, freshman exercise science major. “Everybody was hitting.”
Union’s baseball program has seen tremendous progress since last year. While the Bulldogs won’t qualify for the conference tournament, they’ve accomplished many other goals, some of which include disqualifying other teams in their conference and growing as a team both in talent and confidence. Another goal was to achieve 20 wins this season. With 19 wins so far and five games left, the Bulldogs have a prime opportunity to accomplish this as well.
“It’s been a great season,” Holbrook said. “We’re basically like a family on that field. I’m hoping we’ll carry that into next year.”