BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union moved closer to securing the No. 2 seed for next week's Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament with a 10-0 league win over visiting Reinhardt (Ga.) Wednesday.
With the win, the Bulldogs are 28-20 overall and 13-9 in the AAC. Union has two more conference games remaining - both with Reinhardt. The only team who can catch Union is Virginia Intermont, which is 11-10 in league play. The Cobras, however, have to close out the season at ninth-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan.
A victory in one of the two games versus Reinhardt will lock up the No. 2 seed for Union since it holds the tie-breaker over Virginia Intermont as the Bulldogs took the series two games to one from the Cobras.
Thursday's doubleheader is set to begin at 1 p.m. Prior to the first game, Union President Dr. Marcia Hawkins will throw out the first pitch.
A six-run fifth turned a relatively close game into a rout as Union recorded the 10-0 decision.
The Bulldog pitching staff kept at the Eagle batters at bay, allowing only four hits, two walks and one hit batter. Meanwhile, Union was helped out by eight Reinhardt errors, resulting in four unearned runs.
Union scored a run in each the first and second innings for a 2-0 lead before pushing two more across in the fourth. Before the Bulldogs could bat in the fifth, there was a 55-minute rain delay. When play resumed, the Union bats took over. Miguel Mendez (Lansing, Mich.) got the scoring going with a two-run double, which was followed by a J.D. Burrell (Amanda, Ohio) two-run single for an 8-0 lead. The Bulldogs tacked two unearned runs to stretch the margin to 10-0.
Luke Collis (St. Charles, Mo.) picked up the win, allowing no runs on one hit and one walk in five innings work, upping his record to 6-3. Justin King (Barbourville, Ky.) and Blake King (Hindman, Ky.) each tossed one inning of shutout ball to wrap up the victory.
Mendez and Burrell each finished with two hits and two RBIs.
By the Numbers
• This is the fourth shutout victory for the Bulldogs this season.
• Union collected its 100th stolen base of the year in the 48th game. The Bulldogs had 100 swipes in 56 games last year.
• Collis has dropped his ERA to 2.99.
Thursday's doubleheader will be the final two games for Union during the regular-season. The AAC Tournament is set to begin Monday at Hunter Wright Stadium in Kingsport, Tenn.