BY DENNIS CLAYTON
East Union and Ingomar are the lone survivors of the original 10 Union County playoff teams in baseball and softball. Both teams begin their best of three series tonight in baseball.
Ingomar (21-6) will host Hamilton (10-11) at 7:00 tonight.
Matt Browning leads the Falcon pitching staff with his 7-1 record over 51.1 innings. Browning boasts a 1.91 ERA with 17 walks and 63 strikeouts.
Kelton Hall leads the team in batting with a .380 average with five home runs and 36 RBIs. Joseph Broom is next in production at the plate with .371 batting average and 24 RBIs and one home run.
East Union (15-15) will travel to East Webster (24-3) for their game one series opener today at 6:00.
The Urchins feature starter Witt Roaton as their ace pitcher. Roaton is 4-4 with a 3.34 ERA over 50.1 innings. He has 65 strikeouts and issued 31 walks on the year.
East Union is led by eighth-grader Cade Bell at the plate. Bell is batting .432 with 29 RBIs, one home run and nine doubles.
Leadoff batter Zane Wilkinson is also a threat to reach base with his .408 average and nine doubles. Wilkinson leads the Urchins in steals, having successfully stolen 18 of 19 attempts.
The series will shift on Thursday with Ingomar traveling to Hamilton and East Union will host East Webster. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 on Thursday.
East Union rode the arm of Joel Wilkinson and the bat of Lane Plunk to win game three of their series against Strayhorn 8-2 on Friday and take the series 2-1.
Wilkinson was masterful on the mound, scattering six hits and limiting Strayhorn’s offensive hitting machine, Pedro Rubio to a solo home run. Wilkinson struck out three on the day.
Plunk was 2 for 4 with four RBIs and a double. The senior drove in the first Urchin run in the top of the first and also had a hand in all three East Union runs in the third, driving in two with his double and scoring the third run on Drew Edward’s RBI single.
East Union advances to the third round of 2A playoffs and will face the winner of the Baldwyn/East Webster series.
MYRTLE – Myrtle and West Union needed eight innings to settle their Division 2-1A baseball opener and the Hawks were able to scratch out a 5-4 win. With bases loaded, the Hawks scored on a hit by pitch to take the narrow win.
“It was a big win, it’s one of those that seemed like a marathon game,” Myrtle coach Robert Gordon said. “I know it just went eight innings, but I was thinking, man I don’t know how much more I can take. I was glad we scratched that run across at the end, but I credit their pitcher, he’s good, he’s really good.
Myrtle scored in the bottom of the first as leadoff batter Lane Bishop doubled and later scored to put the Hawks up 1-0. Dillon Kennon extended the Hawks’ lead to 2-0 in the second as he got the leadoff walk and scored.
West Union came back in the third to take a 3-2 lead as catcher Luke Willard reached on an error. Riley Bogue came on to as a courtesy runner. Cole Phillips reached and Andrew Childers was hit by pitch to load the bases. John Austin Taylor drove in one run and two more scored on miscues by the Hawks.
Myrtle came right back in the bottom of the inning to tie as Brandon Perkins led off with a single and was driven in on Jacob Kent’s RBI double.
Zach Perkins broke the tie in the bottom of the fifth as he ripped a home run over the left field fence. Perkins was 0-2 in the count when he launched his shot to left to put the Hawks up 4-3.
The Eagles tied the score at 4-4 in the top of the sixth as John Austin Taylor doubled and later scored on Hayden Basil’s RBI single.
Both team threatened in the seventh inning but two plays at the play left the score deadlocked. In the Eagle seventh, a bunt attempt to push across the lead run failed as pitcher Brandon tagged out the runner trying to score from third. Myrtle got the leadoff batter on in their half of the inning and attempted to score him from second on Dillon Kennon’s single, but Eagle centerfielder Cole Phillips threw out the lead runner at the plate.
West Union threatened again in the eight after getting runners aboard at second and third with one out, but Brandon shut down the Eagle threat with back-to-back strikeouts.
Bishop singled and reached with one out and eventually wound up at third with still only one out. West Union opted to load the bases to set up the force at any base, but Myrtle took the win as Zach Perkins was hit to drive in the winning run.
“It was a great game,” Gordon said. “It was a great game to be a part of win or loss, I told my kids that if we had lost, I would have still been proud of them.”
Both starters Brandon for Myrtle and Taylor for West Union went the distance in the contest and gave their teams a quality outing and opportunity to win.
“When we started the game, I felt like we were tight, but I really feel like it means something to this group and it’s the first real big game they’ve played and once we got over that hump, we really battled,” West Union coach Ashley Russell said. “Both teams battled and that turned into one of the better baseball games that I’ve seen in a while. I was proud of my guys, we had a number of guys that made plays. John Austin Taylor battled for us and really has become a good leader and did everything he could to win, I put him in a bad situation there at the end of the game, that one’s on me.
BY DENNIS CLAYTON
East Union won their game one in the late innings and lost game two in extra innings at the Pontotoc baseball tournament on Saturday. The Urchins defeated TCPS 7-0 and lost to North Pontotoc 4-3.
Witt Roaton had a brilliant performance on the mound in game one, allowing only one hit while striking out 11 and walking three to shutout the Eagles.
The Urchins scored three runs in the sixth and four runs in the seventh to claim the win.
Cade Bell had a hit and RBI to lead the Urchin offense. Joel Wilkinson had the other Urchin hit of the night.
In the second game, North Pontotoc rallied for two runs in the seventh to tie and scored the game-winner in the eighth.
East Union is 1-3 on the season.
BY DENNIS CLAYTON
MOOREVILLE – East Union’s Lady Urchins gave perennial 3A power Mooreville all they could handle on Saturday before falling 2-1 in a hastily scheduled game due to recent rains.
“I love playing Mooreville, in my opinion they are the best of the best,” East Union coach Josh Blythe said. “They’ve got two pitchers that are as good as anybody that I’ve ever seen in high school. I told our kids today that I wanted them to compete every pitch and I thought we did that.”
East Union threatened in the first inning, getting a base runner to third with one out, but Mooreville ended the threat on a double play without allowing the score.
The teams combined for a scoreless contest through three innings as Callie Frazier of East Union and Summer Cryder of Mooreville faced the minimum number of batters through the frames.
East Union scored the game’s opening run in the top of the fourth as Raelee Bell drove a pitch deep into center that was mishandled and ended up at third with no outs.
Callie Frazier drove in Bell with her one-out RBI single to right and the Lady Urchins took a 1-0 lead. Frazier was stranded following a strikeout and ground-out that ended the inning.
Mooreville came back in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead. With one out, the Lady Troopers used a bunt single, followed by a base hit to put runners aboard. A deep sacrifice fly to left scored the lead runner and the next batter singled to drive in the tie-breaking run.
“I thought that was a fantastic outing by Frazier, that’s three actually,” Blythe said. “She’s just giving us the chance to win every time. She’s a warrior. I love the makeup of this team, I think the future is definitely bright for them.”
Frazier allowed two runs on four hits while striking out three with no walks.
INGOMAR – Ingomar fell behind early in their game against Wheeler as the Lady Eagles took an early 2-0 lead on Saturday. The Lady Falcons proceeded to score 22 unanswered points for the remainder of the quarter and put the game out of reach at 22-2. The Lady Falcons won going away by the score of 87-27.
Ingomar’s offense was clicking all day as the Lady Falcons had five players in double figures.
“We talk a lot about it, trying to start fast, especially when you’ve got a home court advantage because that gets your home crowd into it and it can have an adverse effect on the other team,” Ingomar coach Trent Adair said. “We did have a good start.”
Lauren Wooley came off the Lady Falcon bench to score three 3-pointers in the second quarter to keep the offense rolling for Ingomar.
“She was hot,” Adair said. “She played as well as she has all year and shot it well, that’s for sure.”
Ingomar went up 49-17 at the half and stretched it to 76-23 after three quarters.
Mallory Russell led the Lady Falcons in scoring with 19 points while Wooley finished with 13. Lindsay Hall and Carson Grisham had 12 points apiece and Lauren Thompson scored 11.