Jackson, Tenn. - 4/19/2003 - Union University head baseball coach Andy Rushing reached the 600-win milestone on Saturday afternoon with a 3-2 win over Martin Methodist. In this, his 19th season of coaching, Rushing has a record 600-407 (.595). In his 15 years at Union, he has compiled a 516-309 (.625) overall record. After today’s games, Union moves to 31-17 overall and 11-10 in the TranSouth.
Rushing is in this 15th season as head coach of the Union Bulldogs. This season, Rushing has led the Bulldog to their 10th consecutive 30-win season. Over the past five seasons, Rushing has tallied 40-win seasons three times. Rushing reached his 500th career Union victory earlier this season in the 11-5 win over Freed-Hardeman on March 21st.
Last season, Coach Rushing had one of his most successful seasons when his Bulldogs finished 44-20 overall. Union won the TranSouth Conference regular season and tournament championship. He participated in his third consecutive regional tournament and his fourth in the last five seasons.
Rushing began his coaching career at South Side High School in Jackson. There he won a pair of district championships and compiled a 59-34 record. Rushing then turned his attention to the collegiate level by serving as head coach for four years at Lambuth College. While at Lambuth, Rushing was named the 1987 TCAC Coach of the Year. He lead the Eagles to a school record 27 victories and a first ever playoff appearance.
In the milestone 3-2 victory, Union led 2-0 going into the top of the seventh of the seven inning game with the help of Roger Cook’s 12th homerun of the season. Martin Methodist scored twice to tie the game and force the Bulldogs to bat in the bottom half of the inning. Freshman third baseman, Steve Sweat led off with a double down the left field line. After Jed Thomas moved Sweat to third, Josh Allen and Garrett Pepper were intentionally walked to load the bases with only one out. Jason Johnson grounded into a fielder’s choice on a smash to the third baseman as he cut the run down at home with the force. Former JCS star and Union centerfielder then hit a chopper up the middle. Martin Methodist shortstop made the play but David Canary beat the throw at second as the wining run crossed the plate.
In the first game of the day, Martin Methodist defeated Union 8-2 on a strong pitching performance by Jeremy Poole. Martin Methodist scored six times in the top of the 4th to put the game out of reach for Union. Martin Methodist out hit Union 12-4 in the first game.
Union took 2-of-3 from Martin Methodist on the weekend but fell to fifth in the final TranSouth standings. Trevecca Nazarene swept Berry to put them in a tie for fourth place with Union at 11-10. Trevecca Nazarene took 2-3 three from Union in their meeting earlier this year, therefore, Trevecca wins the tiebreaker. Lee (14-7) finished first, Cumberland (13-8) finished second, Martin Methodist (12-9) finished third, and Trevecca and Union are fourth and fifth at 11-10. Berry, Lyon, and Freed-Hardeman round out the bottom three teams. Union will host the TranSouth Conference Tournament on Tuesday, April 29 through Friday, May 2.
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