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Bulldogs Open AAC Tourney With 10-0 Victory

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Union College center fielder Clay Ragland went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, and starting pitcher Chris Fern tossed seven scoreless innings, pacing the third-seeded Bulldogs to a 10-0, eight-inning win over sixth-seeded Montreat (N.C.) at the 2012 Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament Tuesday at Hunter Wright Stadium.

With the win, Union improved to 33-20 overall on the year, and will next play at 5 p.m .on Wednesday. Montreat fell to 19-32 with the loss.

The Bulldogs struck first in the top of the first, scoring a run on a Brandon Hedrick RBI single that scored Joe Engle, giving Union the early 1-0 lead. UC then added two more runs in the top of the second to go up 3-0, as Engle and Hedrick both earned RBI by forcing bases loaded walks.

After two scoreless innings, Union essentially put the game away in the fifth, scoring four runs to go up 7-0. Tim DeVito had a two-RBI single in the frame, while Ragland had an RBI single, as well. Union then added two more runs in the seventh to go up 9-0, and scored the final run of the game in the eighth on a homer by Tyler Brake, which was his fourth of the season.

The run support was more than enough for Fern to work with, as he earned the shutout victory. In all, Fern gave up just six hits, and struck out three (while surrendering one walk) in the win. Reliever Drew Chamberlin came on in the eighth to clinch the game, throwing an inning of scoreless ball.

At the dish in the game, Ragland led the way with his 4-for-4 day, while also recording an RBI, and three runs. DeVito was 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored, and Hedrick was 1-for-3 with two RBI to round out the top performances at the plate for UC in the game.

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