BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union received great production out of the heart of its lineup in recording the 10-7 victory on Saturday and to complete the three-game, Appalachian Athletic Conference series sweep of visiting Bryan (Tenn.).
This is the first conference series sweep for the Bulldogs since they opened the league schedule this season by taking three games from St. Andrews (N.C.) on March 1-2. Union improves to 32-15 overall and 16-8 in the AAC.
Bryan falls to 26-23 overall and 12-12 in league play.
Eight of the team's 10 RBIs came from the 2-3-4 hitters. Nelson Price (JR/Burkesville, Ky.) went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs, while Miguel Mendez (SR/Lansing, Mich.) drove in two on 2-for-4 performance at the plate. He also stole three bases. Ryan Horvath (JR/Madison Heights, Mich.) only went 1-for-4 but drove in three runs.
Union took the early lead with Horvath and Zach Dillman (JR/Cincinnati, Ohio) each driving in a run to give Union a 2-0 margin after one. Bryan, though, scored three runs in the fourth to grab its only lead of the day. The Lions were able to score all those runs on just one hit as they took advantage of three walks, a hit batter and two wild pitches. Joey Underwood had the lone hit in the rally, a two-run single.
Bryan's lead was short-lived because Union countered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded and one out, Horvath singled up the middle to tie the game at 3-3. John Wilson (JR/Manchester, Ky.) later added a two-out, run-scoring single to put the Bulldogs up 4-3.
Maintaining a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh, Union gave itself some breathing room with a three-run rally. Price reached on a bases-loaded walk to knock in the first run, and Mendez followed with a two-run single to make it an 8-4 contest.
After Bryan scored a run in the top of the eighth, Price roped a two-run single in the bottom of the frame to push the margin to 10-5. The Lions tried to rally in the ninth but managed to score only two runs as the Bulldogs held on for the 10-7 victory.
Both teams had several opportunities to score as they combined to leave 25 men on base. Union stranded 14 with Bryan leaving 11 on.
Trey Alexander (SO/Glasgow, Ky.) picked up the win, improving to 4-1 on the season. In three innings of relief work, he allowed one earned run on three hits and one walk with one strikeout. Tristan Speak took the loss for Bryan, dropping him to 2-6. He lasted 3 1/3 innings and surrendered four earned runs on six hits and six walks.
The Lions had 11 hits on the day, including four doubles. Grant Zawadzki led the way in going 3-for-5 while three others had two hits apiece.
Before the game, the Bulldogs honored their seven seniors: Mendez, Corey Nicholson (SR/Manchester, Ky.), Jared Tomany (SR/Bryant, Wis.), Kendall Ferguson (SR/Middlesboro, Ky.), Garrick Whittle (SR/Danville, Ky.), Luke Collis (SR/St. Charles, Mo.) and LaVance Anderson (SR/Bowling Green, Ky.).
Union will play its final home game of the season on Tuesday when St. Catharine (Ky.) comes to Barbourville. Earlier this season, the Bulldogs defeated the Patriots 6-3 in 14 innings. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.