JACKSON, Tenn. - 5/7/2010 - On a very windy afternoon and early evening at Union (Tenn.) University’s Fesmire Field, the No. 21 Bulldogs out-slugged Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) University 20-10 to complete the series sweep. Union won both games on Thursday, 7-6 and 5-2. Union finished the regular season 37-13 overall and 14-5 in the TranSouth. Freed-Hardeman dropped to 33-22 on the season and 9-12 in league play.
With 30 combined runs and 34 combined hits, the play of the game was a defensive play by Union’s Rudolph in the top of the sixth. FHU had cut Union’s lead down to 11-9 and had a runner on first base. Joe Mike sent routine fly ball to right that caught the wind and carried to the fence. Rudolph found the wall and leaped to rob Mike of a game-tying homerun for the third out. The Lions did not score in the frame and Union went on to outscore FHU 9-1 over the next two innings.
Freed-Hardeman started the scoring with two runs in the first. Union answered with a pair in the bottom of the first on RBI singles from Josh Jones and David Maristany. The Lions scored three more in the second and led 5-2. Union would not score in the bottom of the second, which proved to be the only inning the Bulldogs did not tally at least one run.
In the bottom of the third, Union exploded for seven runs on four hits and two FHU errors. Alex Turner’s triple started the big inning for Union. The teams swapped runs over the next three innings, but Union never lost the lead. In the seventh, Union put up seven more runs to end the game early, 20-10. Alex Turner again tripled to start the rally with two RBI. Kevin Kirskey added a double in the inning, while Corey Rudolph ended the game with a single to score Dan Beck and Danny Grimm, both of which had singled.
A pair of Davis’ did the undesirable duty of pitching on the windy day for Union. Jared Davis started for Union, but allowed five runs in 1.2 innings of work. Brad Davis came in during the second inning and finished the game. He allowed five runs, four earned on seven hits and five strikeouts during his 5.1 innings of work.
Union was led by Turner with four hits and four RBI including two triples. Rudolph, Maristany, Kirksey and Derek Blackwood each added three hits in the game, while Rudolph also drove in four runs.
Of the 34 combined hits, only one was a home run. It came off the bat of FHU’s Brian Bullard who was 3-for-5 with five RBI in the game to lead the Lions.
Union’s .740 winning percentage on the season is the best since the Bulldogs finished the 2000 season with a 43-15 record and a .741 winning percentage. Union has also been ranked each week in the NAIA polls, including a No. 12 ranking which was the best since a No. 8 ranking in 2002.
Coming into the weekend, Union had already clinched a No. 2 seed in next week’s conference tournament. Freed-Hardeman dropped from a third seed at the start of the weekend, to the sixth and final seed in the tourney.
Up next for Union will be their first round game in the 2010 TranSouth Conference Tournament in Paducah, Ky. on Monday, May 10 at 3:30 p.m. versus Lyon (Ark.). The games will be played at historic Brooks Stadium.
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