Sophomores lead the way to victory
Sophomores Alex Barz, Justin Carey, and Brady Driscol lead the way as Union shutout Jesup 4-0 on their home field on June 25. The sophomore trio provided plenty of offensive output with a combined eight hits, three runs, and three RBI's. An additional run scored by senior Justin Clark was all that Drisol would need as he shut down the Jayhawks with a four hit shutout.
Union got the scoring started in the first with Carey's lead off single. Junior Ted Tecklenburg bunted Carey to second which was followed by a Driscol single. An Alex Barz RBI single scored Carey while Driscol later scored on a passed ball. Union tacked on one more run in the second inning as Clark reached on an error, was bunted to second by senior Austin Howe, and crossed the plate on a single by Carey.
While the offense was producing runs, Driscol and the Union defense kept the Jayhawks in check by allowing only one base runner over the next five innings. Union tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth as Driscol lead off with a double and scored on a Barz single.
"I thought the boys played a solid game tonight. Brady threw a good game by working ahead in the count, changing speeds, and not walking anyone. The defense was solid making the routine plays. Our pitchers lead the league in the fewest walks given up so our defense knows the ball will be put in play which helps keep them on their toes and ready to make plays. Alex Barz continues to swing a hot bat going 8 for his last 16 at bats."
"Unfortunately, we received some bad news this week as it was confirmed that senior Will Crees did break his wrist while sliding vs Hudson last week. Having your senior clean up hitter go down is not an easy thing to overcome, but I'm confident other players will step up. Will was really starting to come on so I feel bad for him that he has to end his career with an injury."
The following collected hits: Carey (3), Driscol (2), Barz (3), Holschlag
Union baseball takes down league leaders
For the second time in as many nights, the Union baseball team beat a NICL conference leader. In their last outing, Union shut out first place Aplington Parkersburg 3-0 which placed A-P and Denver in a first place tie. Union then traveled to Denver the next night and won a hard fought game, 8-3, behind the pitching of senior Nic Peters.
Union jumped up quickly by scoring three in the first inning. As Denver's starting pitcher struggled to find the strike zone, Union took advantage loading the bases after three consecutive walks to Carey, Tecklenburg, and Driscol. An error on an Alex Barz grounder plated two runs and a sacrifice fly by Bader scored another. The Knights added one more run in the second as Driscol was hit by a pitch and later scored on a RBI single by Barz. One more run in the top of the third, gave the visiting team a convincing 5-0 lead. Peters lead things off with a single and eventually scored on a misplayed ball hit by sophomore Austin Kiler.
Denver was able to score two of their own in the bottom half of the third, but Peters and the Union defense was able to shut them out the next three innings. Union tacked on two more in the fifth as Peters lead off with a hit, advanced to second and scored on a hit by Derek Holschlag. Holschlag later scored on a single by Carey to round out the scoring for the inning. The Knights added an insurance run in the seven as Kiler reached on an error and with two outs scored on a Driscol single.
The Cyclones were able to score one in the seventh, but Peters closed the door with a game ending strike out.
Peters earned the complete game victory giving up just two earned runs, eight hits, striking out two, and walking one.
The following collected hits for Union: Carey, Tecklenburg, Driscol, Barz (3), Peters (2), Clark, and Holschlag.
Union is now 6-5 in conference play and 9-11 overall while winning five of their last six.
"Winning on the road versus a league leader is never easy, but we took advantage of some early walks and continued to tack on runs in several other innings. We are beginning to advance runners and get the timely hits that we didn't early in the season. I thought the boys played great defense behind Nic from start to finish; Derek's put out and then throwing a guy out at the plate in the second inning was a huge play, Austin Howe had a great diving catch in right, and Brady had six assists from the shortstop position. The boys are gelling as a team, throwing strikes, making routine plays, and producing runs on offenses; all of which make the game fun to play and watch."