BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Senior first baseman Tyler Brake (Burlington, Ky.) etched his name into the record book as became the first Bulldog to line four doubles in a game in Union's 18-8 victory over visiting Georgetown (Ky.) on Tuesday.
Six players had previous lined three doubles in a game with Arthur Dockery being the last to do so on March 20, 2011, against Tennessee Wesleyan.
"I am really happy for Tyler," said Union coach Bart Osborne. "He's a four-year player for us and has worked hard day-in and day-out for us. This could not happen to a better player."
According to the NAIA website, Brake is only the fourth player to ever collect four or more doubles in a game in NAIA history. Korey Grow of Huntington (Ind.) and Pichi Balet of Cumberland (Tenn.) each had five with Grow doing so in 2007 against Grand View (Iowa) and Balet in 2001 versus Lambuth (Tenn.). Josh Northup of Bellevue (Neb.) collected four doubles against Park (Mo.) on April 15, 2008.
Brake had ripped three doubles by the fourth inning as he started off 3-for-3. He popped out and walked in his next two plate appearances. In the bottom of the seventh with Union up 17-8, Brake came up with two runners on and two out. He ended the game with a double shot to left-center field wall for his fourth double and second RBI of the game, completing the 18-8 Bulldog victory.
For the game, Brake went 4-for-5 with four runs scored.
Union is now 24-16 overall, while Georgetown fell to 25-14 on the year.
Overshadowed by Brake's record performance was the hitting of freshman Tyler Young (Manchester, Ky.), who collected a season-high five RBIs in going 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored. Nelson Price (Burkesville, Ky.) went 3-for-5 with two driven in, while Zach Dillman (Cincinnati, Ohio) went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
The entire lineup was clicking offensively as all nine starters had at least one hit. Union finished with 17 basehits, marking the fourth double-digit hit total in the last six games. The Bulldogs, for the first time this season, have their team batting average sitting at .300.
"Our bats have finally woke up," Osborne said. "I just hope we can keep it going the rest of the season."
A five-run second provided the energy to fuel Union's offensive outburst as the Bulldogs erased an early four-run deficit.
Georgetown got the early advantage, scoring four runs in the top of the first - all with two outs. Union cut the deficit in half with RBIs from Brake and Young. In the second, Gabby Juarbe (San Juan, P.R.) got the rally going with a two-run triple to tie the score at 4-4. Price singled in Juarbe and Dillman later added a two-run single to put Union up 7-4.
Union extended its lead to 13-4 with a six-run fourth before Georgetown finally scored again, posting two runs in the fifth. The Bulldogs pushed three runs across in the sixth and both teams tacked on two apiece in the seventh to make the final 18-8.
Vance Sullivan (Verona, Ky.) got the win for Union, improving to 5-0. He allowed six runs, five earned on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Jordan Nekola suffered the loss for Georgetown, surrendering seven runs, all earned, on seven hits, and two walks with no strikeouts. He is now 2-1.
By the Numbers
- Price extended his team-best hitting streak to 11 games. He's had multiple hits in eight of the 11 games.
- Brake now leads the team with 10 doubles on the season. Price and Miguel Mendez (Lansing, Mich.) each have eight, while Juarbe has seven. Union has 49 as a team.
- Brake and Juarbe lead the team in RBIs with both having 34. Price is right behind at 33.
- In the last two games, Union has compiled 31 runs and 37 hits while holding the opposititon to 12 runs and 16 hits.
Union will play at St. Catharine (Ky.) Wednesday at 2 p.m.