Union Wins Final Home Game
The Union Knights won their final home game of the 2013 season by a score of 10-4 over West Marshall. The Trojans boasted a 20-8 record and carried a NICL West Conference Championship into the game. Union was up for the challenge and used a big, six run fifth inning to secure the win.
West Marshall scored a single run in the top of the second, but Union countered with two of their own in the bottom half. Junior Bo Bader reached on an error which was followed by a single senior Nic Peters. Both players would later score in the inning to put the Knights up 2-1. Union tacked on one more run in the third when sophomore Brady Driscol lead off with a single, advanced to third on a ground out by Barz, and scored on a Bader ground ball. West Marshall scored two in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 3-3.
Union responded quickly in the bottom half by scoring six runs which gave starting pitcher Alex Barz plenty of cushion. Sophomore Justin Carey lead off with a single and advanced to third when Tecklenburg and Driscol were each hit by pitches to load the bases. Consecutive hits by Barz, Bader, and Peters plated runs to extend the inning. Senior Justin Clark was then hit by a pitch which was followed by a two out hit by Carey which rounded out the six run inning.
The Knights produced one final insurance run in the bottom of the six when Driscol lead off with a double, advanced to third on a hit by Bader, and scored on a squeeze play executed by senior Nic Peters.
Bo Bader relieved starting pitcher Alex Barz for the final two innings to preserve the win. Barz earned his fourth win of the year giving up two earned runs on four hits, while striking out six, walking four and hitting two batters. Bader gave up one earned run, struck out five and walked two in his two innings of work.
The following had hits for Union: Carey (2), Driscol (3), Barz, Bader (2), and Peters (2).
The game represented the last on the Union field for seniors Justin Clark, Will Crees, Austin Howe, and Nic Peters.
Union is now 13-15 on the year and heads to Vinton-Shellsburg for a varsity doubleheader on Monday, July 15. The Knights will then open up District play at Benton Community at 7:00 on July 19.
"With West Marshall winning the west side of our league and being 20 game winners, we knew we would have to play well to have a chance. I thought the boys played very well tonight especially on the offensive end of things by getting some timely hits. We ran the bases aggressively, took advantage of their miscues, and had guys step up and drive in runs."
Union Splits with South Tama
The Union Baseball Team split with South Tama on July 10 in Tama. The home team carried a 18-8 record into the doubleheader and won the first game 11-1 in six innings while the Knights won the nightcap 6-0.
In game one, South Tama scored in the first inning to take an early lead, but Union answered right back in the second to tie the game. Bo Bader reached on an error, advance to second on a sac bunt by senior Nic Peters, and later scored on a single by Austin Kiler. South Tama had a strong answer as they scored eight runs in the third inning to break the game open. South Tama added one more run in the fourth to take a commanding 10-1 lead. The Knights were held scoreless in the third through sixth innings. The Trojans got their lead off hitter on in the bottom of the sixth, sacrifice bunted him to second, and ended the game with a RBI single and the ten run rule, 11-1.
Nic Peters took the loss on the mound giving up seven earned runs, 11 hits, while striking out three, walking one, and hitting one batter.
Union collected several hits, but was unable to string them together to produce runs. The following Knights had hits: Carey, Tecklenburg (2), Barz (2), Peters, Clark, and Kiler.
Game two saw the Knights come out with a bit more fire and focus. Union scored runs in the first, second, third and fifth innings to earn a 6-0 win. Sophomore Justin Carey got things going when he lead off the game with a double and later scored on fellow sophomore Brady Driscol's single. Nic Peters got things going in the second inning by reaching on an error, advancing to second on senior Justin Clark's sac bunt, and later scored on a passed ball. The Knights continued their scoring into the third inning when Driscol reached on a single and scored on a double by sophomore Alex Barz. Barz's runner, senior Austin Howe, scored on a single by Bader to round out the scoring for the inning.
Union tacked on two more runs in the fifth when Bo Bader reached on a two out single, advanced to second on a walk issued to Peters, and later scored on an error. Austin Kiler followed up with a RBI single scoring Peters to push the Union lead to 6-0.
As the offense was producing runs, Brady Driscol and the Union defense kept the Trojans in check. Driscol's shutout, his second of the season, was earned by giving up four hits, striking out eight, walking one, and hitting two batters through seven innings of work.
The following had hits for Union: Carey (2), Driscol (2), Barz, Bader (2), and Kiler.
Union is now 12-15 on the season with home games on July 11, at Vinton on Monday, July 15, and the District Tournament at Benton on July 19 at 7:00.
"Tonight was a strange night with two completely different games. In game one, we never got into a flow and played flat which lead to some errors in the field and a lack of offense. We did not like the way game one ended and came out with more determination the second game which fortunately resulted in a strong performance. Brady threw a nice ball game and was able to change speeds for strikes and keep them off balance. Several players had key defensive plays in the game for us; Peters tracked down a hard hit ball in left, Clark had a diving catch in right for a third out, and Bader had several good stretches and put outs at first base for us."