Union baseball beat Henderson State Tuesday afternoon with a walk off double from senior exercise science major Tyler Mauzy. The victory broke a four game losing streak for the Bulldogs.
It was not a pretty April day for baseball. The game was delayed an hour due to rain and both teams had to leave their dugouts for 30 minutes because lightning was spotted. Once the game started, Henderson State jumped on the board quick. Scoring in three straight inning, one in the top of the third, two in the fourth with a base hit up the middle and one more in the fifth, it seemed like Henderson State was on a roll.
Junior sports management major Skyler Harrison pitched five straight innings until freshman Austin Kitterman came in for relief. Junior business management major, Marty Coursey finished the ball game.
“Coming in as a reliever is a lot different than starting, which is what I am used to,” Coursey said. “So there has been a little bit of a learning curve in this new role. I like it though. I get to come in during high pressure situations and make important pitches to either change the momentum if we are losing or seal the game when we are winning.”
Union’s offense did not get going until the bottom of the sixth when senior business management major Zach Phillips hit a single and sophomore sports management major Hayden Lewis hit a bomb over center field to make the score 2-4. In the bottom of the eighth inning, sophomore business marketing major Nolen Milton received his 12th home run of the season, driving Mauzy home to tie the ball game.
“It was good to comeback and win that game,” Milton said. “They are a tough region team that we needed to beat to gain some momentum going into this weekend. This weekend is a big series for us and it’s good to be coming off a walk off win.”
It was in the bottom of the 9th inning when Mauzy ricocheted the ball off the left field wall scoring the winning run.
“I trusted my abilities and in God that I was going to get the job done,” Mauzy said. “I was looking for a pitch to drive and to get my barrel to and the first pitch I saw happened to be just that. The 4 game losing streak at home didn’t even cross my mind.”
By the time Mauzy had rounded second, junior exercise science major, Austin Orr scored the winning run. The bench cleared and met Mauzy in the middle of second base and third in excitement. Arms were flailing, a helmet flew in the air and one teammate came running with a half filled water bucket to pour on top of Mauzy’s head.
“It was good for us to break that [losing] streak coming into our last two weekend series, one of which is at home,” Coursey said. “Those are all incredibly important games if we want to get one of the top seeds for the conference tournament. I’m really proud of how we came back from a 4 run deficit and continued to grind the game out last night. This is a really fun team and I think it’s going to continue to be a fun ride for the rest of the season!”
The Bulldogs play at the University of Alabama in Huntsville Saturday, April 22. They return home Tuesday. April 25 against the University of Tennessee in Martin and then their last Gulf South Conference series against the University of West Georgia, Saturday, April 29. The Bulldogs are currently ranked 4th in the conference and are eagerly waiting to see if they make it into the tournament.