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Athletics News Release

Union baseball fills graduation void with large recruiting class


Derek Copley throws to first baseman
Kevin Kirksey in a pickoff attempt.

JACKSON, Tenn. - 8/12/2010 - The Union (Tenn.) University baseball team is coming off back-to-back appearances in the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round. But this year, head coach Brent Fronabarger will need to replace five starting fielders and the ace of the staff, all who graduated after last season.

Union has signed 14 new faces to the program for 2010-11, plus getting back a former TranSouth Gold Glove winner, Cole McAdams, who sat out last season.

Nine of the new players are transferring into the program. R.J. Rayborn (Dyersburg State CC), Kian Jost (Fort Scott CC), Derek Roof (Univ. of Indiana), Doug Joyce (Florida International Univ.), Ben Monticello (Sana Rosa CC), Brett Pawlan (Sana Rosa CC), Matt Fike (Lambuth Univ.), Bryan Hill (Lake Sumnter CC) and Justin Bryan (Stillman College) will look to contribute right away. This group is highlighted by Joyce who was drafted by the Royals out of high school, and Roof who started on the mound as a freshman at the University of Indiana. However, each of these players are talented and will be expected to jump in right away to help fill a void left by eight seniors from last season.

Five freshman join the program and will have opportunities to contribute to the team. Kyle Bryan (University School of Jackson), Logan McDougal (Tampa, Fla.), Jim Martin (Canada), Jacob Siler (Riverside HS) and Wacey Russell (Donaldson Christian Academy) will look to adjust to the college game as they begin their careers at Union.

The Bulldogs went 42-17 last season, finishing runner-up in the TranSouth Conference regular season and tournament to the eventual NAIA National Champion, Cumberland (Tenn.). Union was the only team to defeat Cumberland in their last 30 (29-1) games of the season.

Union returns their starting first baseman (Kevin Kirksey, North Carolina), shortstop (Danny Grimm, USJ), leftfielder (Clint Barnes, Bolivar) and top two pitchers (Jeremy Stack, Madison Academic; Derek Copley, Dyer).

With the experienced returning group and a talented group of newcomers, Union looks to contend for a conference championship and advance to a third straight national tournament. Union last won the conference tournament in 2008.

#UNION#


Steven Aldridge
Phone: (731) 661-5027
Sports Information
Fax: (731) 661-5182

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