Union’s baseball had their last home series of the season this past weekend against University of Alabama Huntsville. They lost the weekend 1-3 but finished with a strong showing from both the defense and offense Sunday afternoon.
Though baseball had a hard time getting the bats swinging Saturday, the bats got hot for Union on Sunday. Union had 10 hits on the game with nine runs scored.
Neither team scored until the Bulldogs scored five runs in the bottom of the third that was started by a single RBI by Tyler Mauzy. In the bottom of the eighth, Ryne Roper hit his first homerun of the season and Hayden Lewis added two doubles to the Bulldogs’ hot hitting.
Along with Union’s strong offense Sunday, the defense showed up as well. Skyler Harrison started the game on Sunday and was just two outs away from pitching a complete game. He gave up two runs on five hits during his outing.
“We had a really good performance by Skyler Sunday,” junior Christian studies major Zach Wylie said. “He pitched strikes and let them put the ball in play and our defense got outs. We also hit the ball really well against a good pitcher. It shows potential for what we can be.”
Wylie was encouraged by the team’s performance Sunday.
“When we get a good pitching performance and put the ball in play like we’re capable of, Sunday happens,” Wylie said.
“I felt like we clicked on all cylinders,” sophomore sports management major Skyler Harrison said. “We showed what kind of team we actually can be if we all show up to play, and Sunday we did that.”
Going into their last weekend of the season against the University of West Georgia, the Bulldogs feel confident.
“After beating Alabama Huntsville the way we did, it shows that we can compete with the best teams and even beat them,” Harrison said.
Though it’s their last weekend, Union’s baseball team has improved a lot from their 7-39 season last year to a 19-24 season this year and are already looking forward to growing next season.
“We didn’t have a great year, but we won 19 games which is a good step forward,” Wylie said.
This season began with only seven returning players, 16 freshmen and 10 transfers. With only one senior graduating this year, most of the team will be back for next year.
“I am really looking forward to next year. The younger guys on the team gained a lot of experience this year, and it will develop them as better players,” Harrison said. “The team as a whole will be older and we’ve played a year together, so we know what we all can do. Plus we improved a lot since last year so I feel like if we keep improving we will be pretty good.”
Wylie agrees with Harrison and believes next year will be even better than this last.
“We have some good lefties coming in,” Wylie said. “We have some pieces already. There’s some holes in the puzzle and were still fitting pieces in, but we’re at least acquiring those pieces.”