Union Baseball Plays Cubs AA Squad in Exhibition Game

Jackson, TNóThe Union University Bulldogs took advantage of an opportunity not may college athletes get, a chance to play a professional team. On Monday, April 2, the Bulldogs took on the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx at Pringles Park. Union won this six-inning exhibition game by the score of 2-1. This would be the first time Union has battled a pro team since the 1970 season when they lost to the Baltimore Orioles 1-0 on a Boog Powell homerun.

Union used a little help from the Diamond Jaxx as right-hander Ben Christensen pitched for the Bulldogs. Christensen, a 1999 No. 1 draft pick by the Cubs, pitched all six innings for the Bulldogs allowing only three hits and one run. Union took care of themselves at the plate and in the field as they collected five hits on the day, one of which was for extra bases, and recorded no errors in the field. Unionís head coach Andy Rushing stated after the game, "We didnít play scared on defense or at the plate. Thatís a great thing. We made every play and just did what we were supposed to do."

The Diamond Jaxx scored their only run in the bottom of the first when Jorge Piedra tripled and scored off of a sacrifice fly to right by David Kelton. In the top of the second, the Bulldogs scored their two runs off left-hander Dave Noyce. Unionís Travis Moore led off the second by reaching on a Chris Haas throwing error. He then stole second and scored on a double down the right field line by Doug Taylor. Unionís third basemen Jeff Wyatt, then singled home Taylor to make the score 2-1.

In return for Christensenís six strikeouts and six innings of three hit ball, the Bulldogs helped him by playing errorless ball. Throw in a double play in the bottom of the second and a diving catch by backup center fielder Matt Glass, you could say the Bulldogs held their own and them some.

"Iím from Chanute, Kansas, and I watched Christensen pitch when he was at Wichita State," Unionís Doug Taylor said. "I thought we were going to face him today, and that would have been really something. But this was fun. Iíd been struggling the first of the year, but I cam around about two weeks ago. I hope to build on this." Taylor went 1-2 on the day with a run scored and a second inning RBI double. Unionís sophomore catcher/first baseman added, "We came out and hit the ball better than some thought we would. I was just looking for a good pitch to hit and got two fastballs. It was good for us to see some real good pitching because weíre about to go into a big conference weekend at Berry." Cook went 2-3 on the afternoon.

Unionís pitching staff got the day off and it was a good thing. Starting today, Union will play six games in five days including a pivotal conference series at league leading Berry College. Union is currently in third place in the conference with an 8-4 record and a 20-11 record overall. The Bulldogs hope to continue the momentum of the past few weeks as they have rattle off six wins in a row and have won 12 of their last 14.

April 2, 2001 at Pringles Park, Jackson TN - Exhibition Game
Union University 2, West Tenn Diamond Jaxx 1 (six innings)

1

2

3

4

5

6

R

H

E

Union

0

2

0

0

0

0

2

5

0

Diamond Jaxx

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

3

3

WP - Ben Christensen, LP - Dave Noyce, Save - None (Note: Diamond Jaxx RHP pitched for Union)
E: JAXX - J. Piedra, C. Haas 2.
DP: UU - 1. LOB: UU - 8, JAXX - 1
2B: UU - D. Taylor; JAXX - G. Johnson. 3B: JAXX - J. Piedra
SB: UU - T. Moore. CS: UU - Matt Glass, J. Wyatt
LH: UU - Matt Glass 1-1, J. Wyatt 1-2 RBI, R. Cook 2-3, D. Taylor 1-2 RBI. JAXX - C. Hass 1-2, J. Piedra 1-3 Run.

#DOGS#

 


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