Pats - a week of victories
By Vivian Risch, Contributor
Union County’s baseball program is making up for lost time with a schedule stuffed full of make-up games and any other takers.
“We played one game in 11 days,” UC coach Jeff Mathews said of the weather-related cancellations last month.
“Now we are playing anyone and everyone who is willing to take us on,” Mathews said. “Win or lose, it makes our program stronger.”
Last week the Patriots were on the field with Daleville (2017-18 State 1A Champions), Harrison (Ohio) Wildcats, Tri-Eastern Conference opponent, Tri High, and the Cowan Blackhawks.
UC defeated Daleville, 6-4, Harrison, 20-5, in five innings, a 12-3 TEC win at Tri High and beat Cowan, 12-2 and 5-2.
Patriots 6, Broncos 4
Pat batts scored a run in the first inning against Daleville, but went scoreless through the next four innings. The Broncos rallied for two runs in the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead. They came right back to score two more runs in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead.
The Patriots came to life in the bottom of the sixth inning with five runs to get back on top, 6-4, and held the Broncos scoreless in the seventh for the win.
Patriots 20, Wildcats 5
Union County started with two runs in the first inning, 15 runs in the second and added three in the third to dismantle the Harrison Wildcats, 20-5.
Harrison changed pitchers twice in the marathon second inning when each Patriot batted twice and scored at least one run. The Pats finished the inning with 15 runs on 11 hits including three home runs.
In his third appearance at the plate, Mook Shepler unloaded on the third pitch to the plate with a bomb over the center field fence. Following the celebration at home plate, Justin Witter stepped into the batter’s box and sent the first pitch out of the park in left field causing teammates to shower him at home plate. Three batters later, Zander Kottka swung on the second pitch that cleared the right field fence and a warm welcome after completing the circle of bases.
Then in the top of the third inning, Harrison came up with four runs on four hits and added a single run in the fifth.
Final score? Union County 20, Harrison 5.
Union County 12, Tri 3
At Tri, it was a win, win situation with three home runs, three Pats posting batting averages in excess of .500 and Mook Shepler and Justin Witter on the mound.
UC went up 3-0 in the first inning, 6-2 after three, an refused to stop. Two runs in the fourth, one in the sixth and a 3-run seventh inning capped the TEC win.
Witter, Zander Kottka and Mason Wicker hit out-of-the-park homers.
Jacob Stansberry went two-for-three and scored two runs. Kottka was two-for-four, one run scored and two RBI. Nate Webb was two-for-four, one RBI and scored a pair of runs.
Shepler picked up the win with four strikeouts, a walk and gave up five hits in five innings.
Witter struck out one and walked two.
Union Co. 12, Cowan 2
The Patriots closed out the week with a 12-2 Friday night win over the Cowan Blackhawks.
Pitcher Blake Fields went the distance (five innings) with eight strikeouts, two walks, gave up three hits and hit a double and a triple. Zander Kottka and Mook Shepler also hit doubles.
Daleville 000 220 0 - 4
Union County 100 005 x - 6
2B: UC 1 (Stansberry).
LOB: UC 6.
Batteries: UC-Freeman, Witter and Webb.
Harrison 0 0 4 10 - 5
Union County 2153 0x - 20
2B: H 3 (Childs, Bill, Dallio). UC 2 (Webb, Wicker).
HR: UC 3 (Sheplar, Witter, Kottka).
LOB: H 3. UC 6.
Batteries: H-Neiman, Cross, Morse and Childs. UC-Webb, Stevens and Wicker.
Union County 303 201 3 - 12
Tri High 011 010 0 - 3
2B: UC 1 (Kottka).
HR: UC 3 (Witter, Kottka, Wicker).
Stolen Bases: UC 2 (Fields, Webb).
LOB: UC 6.
Batteries: Shepler, Witter and Webb.
Cowan 000 11 - 2
Union County 510 06 - 12
2B: UC 3 (Kottka, Fields, Shepler).
3B: UC 1 (Fields).
LOB: C 3. UC 5.
Batteries: C-Barton, Thomas, Collins, Nettrouer and Jones. UC-Fields and Webb.
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