BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - The Union baseball team ran into some bad luck Sunday as it dropped both ends of a doubleheader to visiting Shawnee State (Ohio), losing 13-3 and 3-1.
With the losses, the Bulldogs fall to 4-3 on the year. The Bears improve to 4-5 overall.
Union struggled getting its offense going as Shawnee State limited the host to six hits on the day. Meanwhile, the Bears lined 19 base knocks with many finding a hole through the infield or gaps down the right- and left-field lines.
No Bulldog had more than one hit on the day, and while he went hitless, LaVance Anderson (Bowling Green, Ky.) was one of the more productive players at the plate as he walked twice, stole two bases and scored twice. Gabby Juarbe (San Juan, Puerto Rico) collected two RBIs in going 1-for-5 in the two contests.
Game 1 - Turning Point
Early on, both teams matched each other run for run, but that all changed in third. Shawnee State scored twice in the top of the third to claim a 4-2 edge. WIth two on and one out, Nelson Price (Burkesville, Ky.) doubled to pull Union within run and place runners on second and third. Jackson Arnett (Tompkinsville, Ky.) then lofted what appeared to be a sac fly to right, but Bear right fielder Brady Hightchew turned it into a double play as he gunned Tyler Brake (Burlington, Ky.) down at the plate, keeping it a 4-3 Shawnee State lead.
Union did not score again as Shawnee State scored in every at bat, including a seven-run sixth to make the final 13-3.
Calvin Sluberski led the Bears at the plate in going 4-for-5 with three runs scored a RBI,
Zak Esposito went the distance to get the win, allowing three runs - two earned, on five hits and three walks with four stikeouts. He is now 1-1 on the year. Luke Collis (St. Charles, Mo.) suffered the loss to drop to 1-1 on the season.
Game 2 - Turning Point
A late rally by the Bears turned what was a superb pitching performance into a tough loss for the Bulldogs.
Union scored the game's first run in the opening frame as Anderson walked, stole second and moved to third on a thorwing error. With one out, Juarbe grounded out to allow Anderson to come home.
It remained 1-0 until the sixth when Shawnee State strung four hits together to plate three runs.
In spite of suffering the loss, Drew Hillard (Lexington, Ky.) tossed a gem, giving up three runs - two earned, on six hits and one walk with six strikeouts in six innings of work. He falls to 1-1 on the year. Cody Strayer pitched six innings and allowed one unearned run with seven strikeouts to get the win. Jordan Williams fanned two in a scoreless seventh for the save.
By the Numbers
- Union is outscoring the opposition 10-1 in the first inning. However, in innings four, five and six, opponents own a 27-12 edge.
- With four more stolen bases, Union has swiped 25 in seven games with at least two in every contest.
- Brake is the Bulldogs top producer at the plate with a .333 average, six runs scored and five RBIs.
- Despite a .133 batting average, Miguel Mendez (Lansing, Mich.) owns a .480 on-base percentage thanks to a team-best 10 bases on balls.
The schedule does not get any easier for Union as it welcomes No. 3 Lee (Tenn.) to Jerry W. Carey Stadium on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.