On Tuesday night, Union baseball’s offensive struggles continued as they fell 6-0 to their former TranSouth Conference rival, the Trevecca Trojans, and Trojans pitcher Ryan Shultz, senior, starred in his first start since his freshman year.
Coming into this game, Shultz had given up six earned runs on seven hits in just six innings pitched. But he drastically improved his season stat line against the Bulldogs, going five innings, giving up just three hits and contributing in a big way to his team’s shutout win.
Union’s head coach, Lee Driggers seemed to think the shutout had a lot to do with Union’s offense as well.
“[The offense] just has not been clicking for about a month now,” Driggers said. “I’ve never seen a team go this long like this. I don’t have any answers. Obviously what’s wrong with this team is our offense.”
True, the Bulldogs’ offense has not been as potent as of late as it was early in the season, but there is no reason for Union fans to panic. Despite the recent struggles, this is still an offensive unit that averages 6.4 runs per game on the season. They are also on pace to meet the goals laid out by Marty Coursey, senior starting pitcher, in early February:
“Our goal for this season is to win over 30 games and win the Gulf South Conference Tournament in May,” Coursey said. “This may seem like a lofty goal but everyone in the locker room believes we can achieve it.”
The Bulldogs are 21-10 with 19 games still to go, so the 30-win mark seems like a virtual gimme. Barring some unforeseen circumstance, they will also play in their first GSC Tournament, as the top eight teams get in and Union is currently tied for third in the loss column.
Center fielder Hayden Lewis appeared to suffer an injury while diving for a fly ball in the second inning and was removed from the game. The details of the injury have not been disclosed and Driggers declined to comment on it. Lewis’ status for Saturday’s doubleheader against West Florida is currently unknown.
The Bulldogs will be back in action this weekend as they take on West Florida in three big conference matchups. Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s game will both begin at 1:00 pm at Fesmire Baseball Field on Union’s campus.