BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union posted a 13-4 victory Sunday to complete the Appalachian Athletic Conference series sweep of visiting Virginia Intermont, taking sole possession of first place in the league standings.
Union is now 29-9 overall and 14-3 in the AAC, putting it a game up on Tennessee Wesleyan (30-11 overall, 13-4 AAC) and 1.5 games in front of Milligan (Tenn.) (24-12 overall, 13-5 AAC).
The loss drops Virginia Intermont to 10-24 overall and 2-16 in conference play.
The Bulldogs return to action Monday when it visits Bluefield (Va.) at 12 p.m. in another conference battle. The game was rained out on March 28.
After a scoreless first, Union got the scoring going with three runs in the second inning. With two on and no one out, Donnie Popham (Louisville, Ky.) lined a two-run single down the right-field line to make it 2-0. Cory Estep (Harlan, Ky.) later added a sac fly to knock in the final run of the inning, making it 3-0.
Virginia Intermont took advantage of an Union error in the third in scoring a pair of runs, cutting the margin to 3-2. However, the Bulldogs tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the frame for a 6-2 advantage.
Another Union error allowed Virginia Intermont to score a run in the fourth, allowing the Cobras to make it a 6-3 contest. Virginia Intermont make it 6-4 in the fifth when Mark Schultz scored on a Tyler Arnold groundout.
Troy Sitton (Cobden, Ill.) led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run, his second four-bagger of the season. Estep added a RBI double later on in the inning to up the margin to 8-4.
The Bulldogs sealed the win by adding three runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth for the 13-4 decision.
Sitton finished the game by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Estep went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Brian Mouton (Oakland, Calif.) and Popham each ended the day with two RBIs. Ryan Satterlee (Youngstown, Ohio) helped out by going 3-for-6 with a RBI and a run scored.
Jacob Scalf (Barbourville, Ky.) picked up the win, going five innings and allowing four runs, one earned, on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts. Scalf is now 3-1 on the year.
Greg Cassidy led Virginia Intermont at the plate in going 3-for-4 with a RBI, while Arnold went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
Brent Mullins dropped to 0-6 on the season after giving up six earned runs on eight hits and three walks with one strikeout.
Union struggled defensively as it committed five errors in the game, resulting in three unearned runs for Virginia Intermont. Conversely, Virginia Intermont made three errors, which led to three unearned runs.
The Bulldogs did steal a season-high seven bases with Satterlee and Steve Scheelk (Kansas City, Mo.) each swiping two. On the year, Union has stolen 90 bases in 118 attempts.