Welcome to The Doghouse, a weekly column recapping Union University sports action from the weekend.
This weekend, baseball and softball each had a three-game series at Delta State. Baseball went 1-2, while softball was swept.
In Union’s series with Delta State, the final scores were an 8-10 extra inning loss, a 10-4 win, and a 13-2 loss.
In the first game, the Bulldogs came out with a spark, scoring five runs in the top of the second. The first two came from bases loaded walks, the third and fourth on a fielding error, and the fifth on a wild pitch. Delta State scored three runs between the second and third innings, and Union scored one in the third. Then, Zach Phillips launched a two-run homer in the fourth to make the score 8-3. In the bottom of the inning, Delta State scored five runs, as Zack Shannon had a 2-RBI triple, David Pimentel had an RBI single, and Justin Nussbaum had a 2-RBI single.
Neither team scored over the next five innings, and the game went into extras. In the bottom of the tenth, Zack Shannon hit a two-run walk-off homerun for Delta State.
“We got a great pitching effort from Austin Kitterman in relief. He had them in check except for the one pitch,” Union head coach Lee Driggers said. “We were just trying to push a run across but unfortunately we made a pitch that they handled for the game winner.”
JR Miller started on the mound and allowed six runs in 3.2 innings. Kitterman took the loss for the Bulldogs, pitching six innings and allowing four runs with three strikeouts.
“We just needed to turn the page,” Driggers said. “We felt we had an opportunity to have won the first one but we didn’t, so we focused on the next game, putting that one behind us.”
In the second part of Saturday’s doubleheader, Union scored twice in the first. Nolen Milton had an RBI triple and Zach Wylie had an RBI double. In the third, the Statesmen scored one run with a Shannon RBI single, making it 2-1. In the fifth, Dylan Moore opened the gates for Union with a grand slam, and David Robins scored on a fielding error. The next time the Bulldogs came to the plate, they added three runs on a double from Phillips, setting the final score of 10-4.
Teddy Christie earned his fifth win of the season, allowing three runs on four hits. In five innings on the mound, Christie had two strikeouts and four walks. Ryan Roper came in to close the game, throwing the last four outs, including two strikeouts.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs fell 13-2 to the Statesmen in the series rubber match. It started with Delta State scoring two runs in the second inning off of two RBI singles. In the third, Union tied the game 2-2, as Wylie had an RBI single and went on to score on a throwing error. In the bottom of the inning, Juwan Burney and Dakota Glore each had RBI singles to give the Statesmen a 4-2 advantage. Delta State held Union scoreless for the remainder of the game, while the Statesmen went on to add nine runs on nine hits and one error.
Driggers said that the turning point was the fourth inning, in which Delta State scored six runs.
“We had a good game going until we spotted them 6, putting a great deal of pressure on our offense,” Driggers said. “We need to pitch better on the road and keep it close.
Marty Coursey started on the mound for the Bulldogs, and took the loss after allowing four runs in 2.1 innings of work. In relief, Tommy Weiler pitched one inning and allowed five runs, while Skyler Harrison allowed three runs in 1.2 innings. Joe Hudson closed for Union, giving up one run in one inning.
The Bulldogs move to 16-3 overall and 7-2 in Gulf South action.
“We came out of the [weekend] seeing what we need to do moving forward,” Driggers said. “We need to prepare each week to win each conference series from here on out. If we do, we’ll be in a good place.”
This weekend, the Lady Bulldogs fell to Delta State with scores of 0-4, 1-2, and 6-16.
In the first game, Delta State scored first, with a sacrifice fly from Olivia Dick that scored Hannah Salmon. In the fifth, Kory Watterson hit a three-run homer to make the lead 4-0. With two outs, Union had runners on second and third in the seventh, but Hannah Ridolfi struck out looking, ending the game.
Ridolfi started for Union and took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits.
In the second game, Union scored first, as Gabby Morris had an RBI double. Mari Alex Sandridge responded with an RBI single of her own in the bottom of the inning. In the fourth, Salmon scored the game-winning-run off a Chelsea Lamping sacrifice fly.
Morris started in the circle for Union and took the loss, allowing two runs on four hits with six strikeouts.
Come Sunday, the first inning was one for scoring runs. Union had two RBI singles from Hailey Cummings and Haley Barnette, while Delta State scored three runs off two hits, an error, and a sacrifice fly. In the next frame, Union took the lead back, scoring two runs off singles from Paige Robertson and Cummings. In the bottom of the inning, Jordan Jones had an RBI single for Delta State to tie the game 4-4. After a scoreless third, Morris hit a sacrifice fly for Union to go up 5-4 in the fourth. In the bottom of that inning, Delta State exploded with 12 runs on 10 hits. Union added one run in the fifth, but it was not enough, and Delta State completed the series sweep with a 16-6 final.
Morris took the loss for Union, allowing 10 runs on nine hits in 3.2 innings of work. Morris tossed seven strikeouts and six walks in 27 batters faced.
The Lady Bulldogs fall to 11-8 on the season and 3-6 in conference action.
Tuesday, baseball plays at Henderson State, while softball hosts Lane College. Wednesday, softball travels to Miles College, and next weekend, baseball and softball will host Mississippi College.