Meridian Star

Sports

May 14, 2014

Bulldogs advance to South State

(Continued)

UNION — In the first game Tuesday, the Bulldogs grabbed an early 1-0 advantage in the top of the first inning, Bilelo led the game off with a double to the right-centerfield gap. Bilelo scampered home following a throwing error by Union first baseman Ryan Basinger, who was attempting to throw out Bilelo at third base following a ground out by Hunter Harper.

But the Yellowjackets answered the score with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame. Paul White opened with a triple to right field and later scored on Austin Hood’s single up the middle.

“That set the tone,” Hamrick said. “We knew it was going to be a low scoring game, so that mattered a lot. The extra base mattered. That’s what these games have come down to. Every play has been magnified.”

The two teams would remain tied, 1-1, until the fourth inning when Union broke the deadlock with a pair of runs.

In that rally, Grant Gibbs led off with a double and reached third following a sacrifice bunt by Will Kennedy. Walker Kelly drove Gibbs in with a single to give the Yellowjackets a 2-1 lead. The inning was capped off by White who laced a single to left that scored Kelly.

From there, Jake Rawson would limit Enterprise to just one run to give Union the win and force a third and decisive game.

“That’s what he’s done all year,” Hamrick said. “The defense played great behind him, and we did what we needed to win Game 2. We said it last night, just win one game, and that’s what we were able to do and force a do-or-die game.

“I wouldn’t have expected anything different,” Hamrick said.

McCutcheon managed to keep Enterprise within striking distance, throwing out three different Yellowjackets on the base paths.

“He’s good back there,” Welch said. “He’s done a great job all season in throwing out runners, and keeping the running game down.”

Union finishes the season with a 16-13 record overall.

“We have five seniors and they have been unbelievable seniors,” Hamrick said. There is just no quit in this team. There hasn’t been a day all year long that I had to get on these guys. They came to work every day, and it showed the way they played this series and this season.”

The Enterprise versus Taylorsville matchup is slated to begin Friday at Taylorsville with Game 2 at 7 p.m. Saturday at Enterprise.

“I know a lot about Taylorsville from my team previously at West Jones High School,” Welch said. “They’re a great squad. They are the defending state champions. They pitch and hit it well. I expect to face a very good baseball team who has been there before.”

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