WALESKA, Ga. - The Union College baseball team captured an Appalachian Athletic Conference series over Reinhardt (Ga.) with a 5-1 victory in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Ken White Field. In the second game of the double-dip, the host Eagles were victorious, 6-2.
With the split, Union moved to 29-14 overall, 13-8 in the AAC, while Reinhardt is now 29-21, and also 13-8 in the AAC. With today's results, the Bulldogs, Eagles and Tennessee Wesleyan are now tied atop the AAC standings entering the final two weeks of regular season conference play.
In the first game, the Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead, and never looked back, as Union rode a strong start by Luke Collis (SR/St. Charles, Mo.) to a four-run victory.
To lead-off the contest in the top of the first, Justin Elder (JR/Seven Mile, Ohio) was hit by a pitch. After an out, Elder stole back-to-back bases with Miguel Mendez (SR/Lansing, Mich.) up to reach third base. In Mendez's at-bat, RU committed an error, scoring Elder to give the Bulldogs the early 1-0 edge.
In the third inning, Union increased the lead to 2-0 after Elder once again led off an inning getting on base (this time with a single), eventually scoring on a Zach Dillman (JR/Cincinnati, Ohio) RBI groundout. In the fourth, the Bulldogs tacked on two more runs on an RBI double by Vance Sullivan (JR/Verona, Ky.), and by cashing in on another RU error, increasing their lead to 4-0.
The final run of the contest for Union was scored in the top of the seventh on a solo home run by Mendez, his first of the year, to give the Bulldogs a 5-0 lead. The run support given to Collis all afternoon was more than enough, as he rolled through the Eagle line-up.
In the seventh, Reinhardt finally got on the board with a run, but it was too little, too late, as the Bulldogs clinched the AAC series win with the four-run victory.
Overall, Elder ended game one going 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Mendez was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. On the mound, Collis (7-1) earned the complete game victory, allowing a run on five hits, while striking out six (a season-high), and not allowing a walk.
In the second game of the day, Reinhardt salvaged a win in the series, leaping out to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning, and never looking back.
After Ryan Horvath (JR/Madison Heights, Mich.) scored Elder on an RBI single in the top of the first to give the Bulldogs a quick 1-0 lead, the Eagles attacked in the bottom of the frame, scoring three times to go up 3-1 after one.
After Reinhardt increased the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the third, Union countered with a run in the top of the fourth on a Jared Tomany (SR/Bryant, Wis.) RBI sacrifice fly, scoring Horvath that made it 4-2.
RU, however, scored single runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, and shutout the Union offense the rest of the way to notch the four-run victory in game two.
Overall, Horvath went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate in the second game, adding an RBI and a run scored, while Elder went 2-for-4 with a run scored. On the mound, starter Garrick Whittle (SR/Danville, Ky.) was tagged with the loss (2-4), lasting just a third of an inning in the contest.
The Bulldogs leap out-of-conference on Wednesday, hosting Campbellsville (Ky.) in a nine-inning affair at Jerry Carey Stadium. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.