Jackson, Tenn. - 4/29/2003 - The Union University Bulldogs were very well represented with eight players on the TranSouth baseball All-Conference teams. Senior catcher Roger Cook and freshman second baseman Brandon Jackson were each named First Team All-Conference. Jed Thomas (OF), Jason Johnson (OF), Chip Briggs (OF), Garrett Pepper (DH), Cory Engle (SP), and Todd Winchester (RP) were each named to the second team.
Roger Cook, a senior from Jackson, earns his second All-Conference honor in as many years. Cook hit .366 (67-183) on the season and finished third on the team in that category. He led the Bulldogs with 48 RBI, 13 homeruns, 23 doubles, and 67 hits. As a catcher, he threw out 33% of would-be base stealers. Earlier in the year, Cook broke Union’s career record for doubles as he has tallied a total of 74 to this point. He is just three doubles shy of Union season record of 26. Cook was an NAIA All-American selection last season and looks to be among the same company at the close of this year.
Brandon Jackson is Union’s freshman second baseman from Savannah, Tennessee. Jackson led the Bulldogs with a .392 (60-153) batting average. He finished second on the team, behind Cook, with 42 RBI, seven homeruns, and 60 hits. Jackson also tallied nine doubles, one triple, and four stolen bases this year. In a game against Lambuth on his home field in Hardin County, Jackson tied three Union records in a game. On that day, he hit three homeruns in a game and drove in seven runs. One of his homeruns was his second grand slam on the season and in his career for Jackson.
Union placed six players on the TranSouth second team. Jed Thomas hit .326 on the year with 12 doubles, four triples, and two homeruns. He led Union with 13 stolen bases in 14 attempts. Thomas, from Humboldt, was most valuable in left field as he committed just one error in 72 chances. Jason Johnson, out of Munford, Tenn., hit .339 in what was Johnson’s career season to this point. Johnson, a junior, hit 11 doubles, two triples, and four homeruns. Senior Chip Briggs was fourth on the team with a .360 batting average. Briggs, a Clarksville, Tenn. native, missed the first eight weeks of the season with a broken foot but returned to be one of Union’s most consistent players. In just 27 games, he tallied eight double, one triple, one homerun, and 16 RBI. Briggs was an NAIA All-American honorable mention last season as a junior. Freshman Garrett Pepper made the second team as the designated hitter. Pepper, from Memphis, was the designated hitter in over 50% of his games, but he also was a spot starter and back-up third baseman for the Bulldogs. He finished second on the team with a .390 (41-105) batting average and also finished second on the team with a 3.40 ERA. As a hitter he tallied seven double, five homeruns, and 29 RBI. On the mound, Pepper pitched 47.2 innings and compiled a 6-2 record for the Bulldogs. Kentucky native and junior pitcher Cory Engle was named a second team All-TranSouth starting pitcher. This season, Engle went 9-1 for Union with a 3.53 ERA. He pitched 63.2 innings in nine starts and three relief appearances. Junior hurler from Dyersburg, Todd Winchester, earned second team relief pitcher honors with a 5-1 record, two saves, and a 3.63 ERA. He pitched 52 innings in 11 relief appearances and five starts.
The Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 34-17 record overall and 11-10 in TranSouth play. Union opened play today in the TranSouth Conference Baseball Tournament as the No. 5 seed. Union played Trevecca in the open round. The conference tournament is being played at Fesmire Field on the campus of Union University from April 19 – May 5. For more in information on the tournament such as complete results, stats, and honors, visit the tournament website on Union’s athletic page at www.uu.edu/athletics.
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