Jackson, Tenn. - 4/20/2002 - The Union University baseball program captured the 2002 TranSouth Conference Regular Season Championship on Saturday as they defeated Berry College 12-3 in the conference game of the season. This is the second regular season conference title in three years for the Bulldogs.
It took every conference game to decide the champion this season. Union held a small advantage over second place Lee University going into the final weekend of the season. The Bulldogs had a 14-5 TranSouth record while Lee posted a 13-5 conference record. In the TranSouth, if a game is rained out, it is not made up. This was the reason for the unbalanced records. Union need to match Lee in wins during the final weekend and that’s just what they did. Union swept Berry on Friday 9-4 and 2-1 while Lee swept Trevecca. On Saturday, both Union and Lee would lose the first games of the day. With Lee’s loss, all Union had to do was win the final game. Union came out smoking after being held quiet offensively for the past two games. Two freshmen led the Bulldogs in the clinching game. Pitcher Matt Gibbs, from Hardin County, pitched a complete game allowing only three runs. Jackson local and USJ standout, Josh Allen had the hot bat as he went 2 for 3 with a three-run homerun, one run scored, and walk.
Union’s head coach Andy Rushing was extremely pleased with the efforts of his Bulldogs. “We battled tough and this weekend and over the last three weekends. This was a great way to win it”, adds Coach Rushing. The Bulldogs have won 10 of their last 12 conference games down the stretch to bring home the title.
After the game, Union players raced onto the field with gloves and caps being thrown into the air as they celebrated another notch in their already impressive season. The No. 4 Bulldogs have battled through some injuries and tough losses, but have always been able to bounce back and get big wins. Union improved their overall record to 38-15 and finished the TranSouth regular season with a 17-6 mark.
Union will be the No. 1 seed in the TranSouth Conference Tournament in Cleveland, Tennessee on April 30-May 4. With this regular season title, Union also earns an automatic bid to the NAIA Region XI Tournament in Lebanon, Tennessee on May 7-11. This will be the fourth consecutive trip to the region tournament for the Bulldogs.
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