BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – Union struck a solid blow early, but visiting Davenport (Mich.) withstood the punch and delivered the knockout late, winning 10-6 on Sunday.
The loss drops Union to 2-3 on the year, while Davenport now sits at 2-1.
Davenport drew first blood in the top of the first, scoring its runs off of a sac fly and a double steal. However, Union answered with a four-run rally in the bottom of the frame to take a 4-2 advantage.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs when Nelson Price lofted a sac fly to right to score the first run. Zach Dillman and Jackson Arnett each added a RBI single, and Justin Elder capped the rally off with a run-scoring double to make it 4-2.
Union's lead grew to 5-2 in the second when Price singled in Miguel Mendez. Mendez reached base in all five plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with two walks, two stolen bases and two runs scored.
It remained a three-run game until the fifth when the Panthers' first two batters reached on a walk and a hit by pitch. Union seemed to be on its way to getting out of the jam unscathed as reliever Vance Sullivan struck out the next two batters. But Conner Seymour lined a single to left center to knock in a run, making it a 5-3 contest.
Davenport took advantage of a Union error in the seventh to load the bases with two outs. Ryan Zylstra then roped a single to left to push two runs across, tying the game at 5-5.
In the ninth, the Panthers came through with five hits and made the most of two Bulldog errors in piecing together a five-run outburst. Seymour drove in his second run of the game to put Davenport up 6-5, and Cody Greear's sac fly made it a 7-5 contest. The Panthers scored their final three runs on a single, throwing error and a fielder's choice.
Union started its half of the ninth by loading the bases with no outs thanks a hit by pitch, a single and a walk. Price knocked in his third run of the game when he reached on a fielder's choice, cutting the deficit to 10-6. But the threat ended there as the next two batters when down via a strikeout and an infield fly.
Jared Tomany and LaVance Anderson each went 2-for-4 at the plate with Tomany also scoring a run.
Price suffered the loss, dropping to 0-1 on the season. In two innings pitched, he allowed five runs, two earned, on five hits and no walks.
Ryan Butzer picked up the win, improving to 1-1. He tossed the final 2 2/3 innings for the Panthers, surrendering one earned run on one hit and one walk with a strikeout.
Brenden Bender went 4-for-6 with two runs score and a RBI for Davenport, while Zylstra, Seymour and Zack Sardelitti each had two RBIs.
By the Numbers
- Union lined a season-high 12 hits. The team's previous best came on Saturday when it had nine.
- The Bulldogs have scored five runs in the first inning this season and are 0-2 when scoring in the first three innings.
- The three-hit game by Mendez is the first by a Bulldog this season as is Price's three-RBI outing.
- Union has scored more runs (36) and walks (38) than it has hits (35). The Bulldogs are hitting .236 as a team but own a .400 on-base percentage.
Union is slated to play host to Asbury (Ky.) on Tuesday. The doubleheader is set to get underway at 1 p.m.