JACKSON, Tenn. - 4/9/2011 - The No. 13 Union (Tenn.) University baseball team posted an 8-5 win over Martin Methodist (Tenn.) College on Saturday. In doing so, the Bulldogs took 2-of-3 from the RedHawks in the weekend conference series. Union improved to 28-10 on the season and 11-4 in the TranSouth. Martin Methodist dropped to 22-15 overall and 14-4 in league play.
Martin Methodist took the early lead with an unearned run in the top of the first. Tony Allen hit a two-out triple and then scored on the next play on a fielding error that would have ended the inning. However, the Bulldogs responded in the bottom of the frame with two runs to take the lead. Doug Joyce doubled with two outs to start the rally. Oscar Depablos, Cole McAdams and Kevin Kirksey posted three straight singles to score the two runs. Union added another run in the bottom of the second when RJ Rayborn tripled to lead off the inning and then scored on a ground out by Clint Barnes.
In the fourth inning, with Union leading 3-1, the Bulldog defense faltered. Martin Methodist took advantage of two Union errors mixed with three hits to score four unearned runs. Union added a tally in the bottom of the fourth to cut the deficit down to 5-4 when Brett Pawlan singled in Kian Jost for an unearned run.
Union regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Pawlan singled in RJ Rayborn, who led off the inning being hit by a pitch. Danny Grimm, who had singled earlier in the inning, came around and eventually scored on a wild pitch to give the Bulldog a 6-5 lead. Two more insurance runs were scored for Union in the bottom of the eighth inning. Pawlan led off with a single and later scored on a single from Depablos. A sacrifice fly from Kevin Kirksey put Union up 8-5.
Union starter Kevin Kirksey lasted five innings, but left the game trailing 5-4 with no outs in the top of the sixth. Kirksey allowed the five unearned runs on six hits with three strikeouts. Matt Fike (4-1) entered the game with an inherited runner in the sixth, but did not allow that run or any other to score for the remained of the game. Fike earned the win by tossing four innings of shutout relief, allowing just three hits with one strikeout and one walk. Travis Garcia (6-1) suffered his first loss of the season, allowing 11 hits, six runs, five earned with four strikeouts and three walks in his 6.2 innings of work. Brock Glass tossed 1.1 innings of relief for Martin Methodist allowing two runs.
Up next for Union will be a home non-conference game on Tuesday, April 12 versus William Carey (Miss.) at 4:00 p.m.
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