BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union split its final Appalachian Athletic Conference doubleheader of the year with visiting Reinhardt (Ga.) on Thursday, but the Bulldogs were able to secure the No. 2 seed for the upcoming league tournament.
Union won the opener 11-7, while Reinhardt picked up a 9-6 decision in the finale.
With the split, Union finishes the regular season 29-21 overall and 14-10 in the AAC, which is good enough to be the No. 2 seed for the AAC Tournament. Tennessee Wesleyan is the regular-season champion with an 18-3 conference mark with three league games to play this weekend.
Reinhardt ends the regular season 23-28 overall and 11-13 in conference play.
The AAC Tournament begins Monday with a play-in game at Hunter Wright Stadium in Kingsport, Tenn. The full bracket will be announced on Sunday.
Game 1 - Turning Point
A six-run sixth inning turned a two-run deficit into an 11-7 victory for the Bulldogs. Down 7-5, Miguel Mendez (Lansing, Mich.) led off the frame with a triple and then scored on a Jared Tomany (Bryant, Wis.) ground out. With two outs and a runner on third, LaVance Anderson (Bowling Green, Ky.) singled to even the score at 7-7. Gabby Juarbe (San Juan, P.R.) followed with a two-run home run to put Union up 9-7. After a Tyler Brake (Burlington, Ky.) single, Nelson Price (Burkesville, Ky.) launched a two-run bomb of his own to extend the margin to 11-7.
Trey Alexander (Glasgow, Ky.) set Reinhardt down in order to collect his fifth win of the season. Alexander allowed one unearned run on two hits and no walks with one strikeout in 3 2/3 innings of work, upping his record to 5-0.
Price led the team at the plate in going 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Brake went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run and two runs scored. Tomany also drove in two runs, and Juarbe finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Thomas Hayes paced Reinhardt at the plate in going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs.
Game 2 - Turning Point
The Eagles used a five-run outburst to propel themselves to the 9-6 victory.
Union reeled off four runs in the bottom of the third to grab a 6-3 lead. J.D. Burrell (Amanda, Ohio) had a two-run single during the rally, and Ben Hartley (Lexington, Ky.) helped out with a RBI.
However, the lead was short-lived as Reinhardt exploded for five runs in the fourth. The Eagles reeled off five hits and took advantage of one Union error to put up the five runs for the 8-6 lead. Reinhardt tacked on a run off a Dusty Davis double in the fifth to stretch its lead to 9-6.
Jackson Arnett (Tompkinsville, Ky.) suffered the loss, allowing three unearned runs in 2/3 of an inning of work.
Jerome Jones only had one of Reinhardt's 13 hits, but he collected three RBIs.
By the Numbers
- Union now has 25 home runs on the year with Brake leading the way with eight. Juarbe is next in line with seven.
- Brake and Juarbe lead the Bulldogs in RBIs with both having 44.
- Anderson has 52 runs scored and 25 stolen bases to lead the team.
- Brake set the program career record for putouts. He had 12 on the day to give him 1,196 to surpass Bubba Szary's mark of 1,186.
Union will play in the AAC Tournament on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The opponent has yet to be determined.