BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - No. 12 Union needed to shake things up to help it break out of their winless skid. And the shakeup worked Wednesday as the Bulldogs defeated visiting Cumberlands (Ky.) 7-2.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak, improving Union's record to 3-4. Cumberlands falls to 5-4 on the year.
Union head coach Bart Osborne tinkered with the lineup, shifting everyone around at least one spot in the batting order except for senior third baseman Joe Engle (Sidney, Ohio), leaving him in the third hole. The changes paid off right away as the Bulldogs scored three runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back.
Tim DeVito (Glendale, Ariz.) led off with a single and moved to second a Cory Perreault's(Phoenix, Ariz.) bunt before stealing third. Engle singled to drive him in for the game's first run. Two batters later, Gabby Juarbe (San Juan, P.R.) made it 3-0 with a two-run homer to center field, his first four-bagger as a Bulldogs.
Cumberlands scored a run in each the second and third innings, while Union pushed a run across in the bottom of the second for a 4-2 edge. It remained a two-run game until the fifth when Arthur Dockery (Detroit, Mich.) collected his second RBI of the game when he grounded out to short, allowing Clay Ragland (Chillicothe, Ohio) to score.
The Bulldogs tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the eighth as DeVito singled in a run and later scored on a wild pitch, making the final 7-2.
Taylor Eikenberry (Rock Falls, Ill.) picked up the win, going five innings and allowing two earned runs on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts. The left-hander is 1-1 on the year now. Chris Fern (Zephyrhills, Fla.) collected his second save of the season, tossing four shutout innings. Fern gave up five hits and one walks with one strikeout.
DeVito, who was batting leadoff for the first time this season, went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a RBI and three stolen bases. Donnie Popham (Louisville, Ky.) also went 2-for-4, while Dockery went 0-for-3 but had two RBIs and a run scored.
Justin Jackson led Cumberlands at the plate with a 3-for-5 performance with a run scored. Drew Morgan got the loss, lasting 2 1/3 innings and allowing four earned runs on five hits and two walks. Donavan Feenstra went the rest of the way for the Patriots, surrendering three runs, one earned, on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
Union does not return to action until Tuesday when it travels to Williamsburg, Ky., to play Cumberlands for the third time this season. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.