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Bulldogs pull away from Bryan in 9-4 AAC tournament win

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - The second-seeded Union College baseball team scored three runs in three separate innings, and used a late push to pull past seventh-seeded Bryan (Tenn.), 9-4, on Tuesday at the 2013 Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament at Hunter Wright Stadium.

With the win, UC improved to 30-21 overall, and move on to play sixth-seeded Virginia Intermont Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m. Bryan fell to 29-25 with the loss, and face elimination tomorrow in a tilt with third-seeded St. Andrews at 11 a.m.

The Bulldogs got off to a fast start in the contest, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead after a half inning. In the frame, Nelson Price (Burkesville, Ky.) had an RBI single scoring LaVance Anderson (Bowling Green, Ky.), while Manny Acevedo (Orlando, Fla.) scored the second run on a Bryan error. The third and final run was scored by Tyler Brake (Burlington, Ky.), who was knocked home on a Tyler Young (Manchester, Ky.) RBI single.

Bryan added a run in the bottom of the first to make it 3-1 UC after an inning, and things held serve until the top of the fourth, when Union attacked for three more runs. Gabby Juarbe (San Juan, P.R.) picked up his first RBI of the day with on a ground out that scored J.D. Burrell (Amanda, Ohio), which was followed up by a Brake two-run home run over the right field fence. The round-tripper, which was the ninth of the year for the senior, made it 6-1 Union after three and a half.

Bryan, however, made things interesting as the game went on, scoring a lone run in the fifth, then two more in the sixth to cut the lead down to 6-4 entering the eighth inning. There, Union put the game away, scoring three more runs to go up five. Anderson had an RBI on a bunt that scored Miguel Mendez (Lansing, Mich.) from third, while Juarbe capped the inning off with a bases clearing, two-RBI double.

The run support was more than enough for the Union reliver Jared Tomany (Bryant, Wis.) to work with over the next two innings, as the Bulldogs rolled on in the tournament with the five-run victory.

Overall, Juarbe and Price were the only UC players with multiple hits on the night. Juarbe finished 2-for-5 with three RBI, while Price also went 2-for-5 with an RBI to help a Union offense that pounded out 12 hits on the Bryan pitching staff. On the mound, Luke Collis (St. Charles, Mo.) picked up the win (7-3), tossing seven innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, while striking out three.

For Bryan, Cody Rhinehart led the Lions at the dish in a losing effort, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. BC starter Tristan Speak (6-3) was the loser, lasting only three and two-thirds, allowing six earned runs (seven total).

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