Meridian Star

Sports

May 13, 2014

Bulldogs bite Yellowjackets

Enterprise —     After playing two one-run contests in the regular season, district 5-2A rivals, Union High School and Enterprise High School, didn't disappoint in the opening contest of their best-of-three-game-series in the second round of the MHSAA playoffs

    With the visiting Yellowjackets clinging to a two-run advantage, 8-6, in the bottom of the seventh inning,  the home standing Bulldogs rallied for three runs to take a dramati, 9-8, Game 1 win.

    "This is huge because we have to go (to Union) and possibly play two (today)," Enterprise coach John Welch said. "It's huge to win Game 1 at home. Our fans were awesome tonight and it was a great crowd."

    In the bottom of the seventh, two consecutive doubles by Reece Williams and Branden Whitaker brought Enterprise (23-6-1) to within one, 8-7. Following a walk by Daniel Alwell, Welch called on his bench for a pinch hitter in Justin McCoy. The junior proved Welch made a good decision, smacking the first pitch he saw over Union left fielder Adam Richardson's head that scored one runner and tied the game.

    "Justin hasn't had many at bats," Welch said. "But over the last three weeks, he's really started to hit the ball a lot better, and we have a lot of confidence in him. Tonight, we weren't able to start him because of some defensive situations, but he didn't pout. I'm so proud of all my guys."

    Added McCoy, "Well I know (Welch) wouldn't put me in there if he didn't have confidence in me. I saw the first pitch and jumped on it. He threw the first two batters ahead of me fastball strikes, so I was sitting fastball. I just tried to put the ball in play and do my job, and it paid off for me."

    Following an intentional walk to Brady Bilelo to load the bases, Hunter Harper drew a four-pitch walk to score Alwell and the game-winning run.

    The three-run inning was preceded by what was was thought to be a game-winning rally in the top of the frame by Union.

    The Yellowjackets (16-11)managed to take its advantage after overcoming a two-run deficit. Ryan Baysinger notched an RBI single to put UHS in front. Austin Hood followed with a run-scoring of his own to give Union a two-run lead.

    "These guys never quit," Union coach Dustin Hamrick said. "They don't quit at all, and the same can be said for Enterprise. "We have to win the next game. We've played three games with this bunch and all them have been walk-offs. I don't expect anything different than that (today)."

    Jake Rawson will pitch Game 2 for Union, while Enterprise will counter with Garrett Glenn.

    "(Rawson's) been great all year," Hamrick said. "He's going to get ground balls and do the necessary things to be successful."

    Added Welch, "We expect Glenn to do what he's done all year (today) and be very successful.

    The two teams will square off at 4 p.m. at Union High School, with a Game 3 to follow, if necessary.

    "They got the last bat (Monday)," Hamrick said. "And that's what it's come down to in the last three games that we played them. I feel like it will come down to that (today) and the good thing is, we have the last at bat."

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