JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/31/2012 - Union University baseball won the rubber game against Cumberland University 4-3 in walk off fashion Saturday afternoon at Fesmire Field. Union improved to 19-13-1 overall and 7-6-1 in the TranSouth. Cumberland dropped to 20-18 overall and 7-8 in league play.
It was a back and forth matchup with Cumberland getting the first run in the top of the first on an RBI single by Brodie Ross. Then in the bottom of the first, a double by Brett Pawlan scored Clint Barnes to tie the game.
In the top of the third starting pitcher for Cumberland, Mike Mandarino hit a solo home run to retake the lead 2-1. Then in the bottom of the third, Brett Pawlan again hit a double to score Clint Barnes and tie the game up at 2-2.
Both pitchers settled in over the middle innings. Union starter Jacob Alexander, a freshman from Montgomery, Ala., threw five straight scoreless innings going into the ninth. Union was having equal trouble in scoring against the Cumberland starter, Mandarino. Union was able to tally an unearned run in the seventh inning to take the 3-2 lead that stood until the top of the ninth.
Alexander allowed a lead-off single from pinch hitter Daniel Harrison in the ninth. Cody Dew entered the game in relief. He gave up a sac bunt and a single that allowed the tying run to score. However, Dew then produced a double play ball to end the threat.
In the bottom of the ninth R.J. Rayborn reached base after being hit by a pitch. On a pick-off attempt by Mandarino, the throw got away and rolled deep into foul territory, allowing Rayborn to advance to third base. Benji Fesmire was then walked and Doug Joyce followed with a sacrifice fly to deep right field to score Rayborn for the win.
Cody Dew (9-0) got the win in relief, while Mike Mandarino (5-2) received the tough loss. Mandarino allowed four runs, two earned on three hits with four strike outs and three walks in his 8.2 innings of work. Alexander was impressive in his no-decision, scattering nine hits and allowing three run with one walk and no strike outs.
The next game for Union will be on the road in St. Louis, as they will take on Missouri Baptist in a double-header Tuesday, April 3.
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