Urchins win Union Co. Tournament

East Union dethroned the two-time defending Union County Champion New Albany Bulldogs last Thursday, picking up their first county title since 2005.

Only three teams participated in this year’s Union County Tournament, as West Union and Myrtle were each playing games in Florida last week. This year’s county showdown saw all three teams lose to one another, and going by least amount of runs given up, the Urchins claim the 2009 tournament crown. East Union gave up only eight runs, followed by Ingomar with 15 and New Albany with 16.

East Union 11 Ingomar 3

The Urchins scored early and often, as they defeated Ingomar in the first game of the Union County Tournament.

“We swung the bats well and competed hard,” East Union head coach Chris Basil said. “I’m proud of the way we played in the tournament.”

East Union jumped on the board first, as a fielder’s choice by Casey McBrayer with bases loaded scored Jimmy Marshall and Craig Bullock.

The Urchins added five more runs in the third, after C.J. Armstrong and Marshall each hit singles, and Bullock was intentionally walked to load the bases. A single by McBrayer, plus an error on a throw to third base cleared the bases. McBrayer scored on the next play, another error by the Falcons during Dustin Pratt’s at bat. Chandler Coleman would advance Pratt on a single to left, but Clay Armstrong was unable to bring them home, ending the inning.

Ingomar would get on the board in the bottom of the third. With one out, Austin Gregory was the first on base, as he was hit by a pitch. A single to left center by Preston Broom scored Gregory, and the Falcons would hit three more singles, by Josh Hodges, Tanner McCollum and Ben Fooshe to make the score 7-3.

That’s as close as the Falcons would get, as the Urchins added three more runs in the fourth and one more in the sixth to take the win.

Bullock pitched a complete game for the Urchins, giving up three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.

John Logan started on the bump for Ingomar and pitched three innings, giving up seven runs on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Gregory relieved Logan in the fourth, giving up four runs on three hits with three strikeouts.

McCollum led the Falcons offensively, going 2-for-4 with an RBI.

For East Union, Marshall and Bullock each went 2-for-4 to lead the Urchins.

New Albany 5

East Union 2

East Union got on the board first, but the Bulldogs’ defense minimized the bats for the Urchins, as New Albany picked up the win in game two.

Jimmy Marshall reached first on a single in the first frame. After a passed ball and stole base, Matthew Carter brought Marshall home on a single, but that was the only run the Urchins would produce until the sixth inning.

The Urchins held the 1-0 lead until the third inning, when the ‘Dawgs put four on the board off of five hits. Easton Hall started the frame with a double to right field. A bunt by Drew Dodds and a walk of Cory Smith loaded the bases for Sawyer Wheatley. Wheatley had a two run single to give New Albany the 2-1 lead. Drew Wray loaded the bases again with a single, and a single by Cody McCullough scored Wheatley, and a wild pitch with Joshua Googe up to bat scored Wray to make it 4-1 after the third.

Each team would add one more run in the sixth to make the final 5-2 in favor of the Bulldogs.

“New Albany did what they needed to to win the game,” Basil said. “They manufactured runs, got a hit, stolen base, sacrifice fly, whatever they needed. They did a tremendous job in that game.”

Wray and McCullough led the Bulldogs’ offense, each going 2-for 3. Smith and Hall each contributed with doubles.

McCullough pitched four innings for the ‘Dawgs, giving up one run on four hits. Joshua Googe relieved McCullough, and pitched three innings, giving up one run on five hits.

Marshall and Carter led East Union at the plate, each going 2-for-4. Casey McBrayer pitched the complete game, giving up five runs on seven hits.

Ingomar 14

New Albany 4

The Falcons made the tournament interesting, as they downed New Albany in the final game of the day, 14-4.

Bats came alive for Ingomar in the third inning, as the Falcons had three runs on three hits. Every Falcon saw action in that frame, as Preston Broom was the first to reach base with his one out single to center. Tanner McCollum advanced Broom, and with two outs, Ingomar started scoring.

Josh Hodges was intentionally walked and after Josh Conke was walked, Matt Purvis had a two run single, followed by a one run single by Ben Fooshe. Clay Kidd reached base after being hit by a pitch, but Cory Smith retired John Logan on a strikeout swinging to end the inning.

Ingomar added two more runs in the fourth, after Austin Gregory and Broom each had singles. Gregory reached third after stealing second and advancing to third on Broom’s single. McCollum brought in Gregory during his at bat, and an error scored Broom.

New Albany got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, as three passed balls advanced Cody McCullough, who reached on a walk earlier in the inning.

After the Falcons added another run in the top of the fifth, New Albany would add two more in the bottom half of the frame, as a single to center by Sawyer Wheatley scored Drew Dodds from second, and Cory Smith would later score in the inning.

Ingomar exploded offensively in the sixth, scoring six runs on three hits and an error to take the 12-3 lead heading into the seventh. The Falcons would add on two more runs in the seventh to take the commanding 14-4 win.

Purvis led Ingomar at the plate, going 3-for-5 with three RBI. Broom and Hodges each went 2-for-5, with a double by Hodges in the seventh.

Several pro and college scouts were at attendance during the final match-up, and Hodges made sure he left an impression, as he pitched five innings and gave up three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts.

Dodds and Smith led New Albany offensively, each going 2-for-4. Cory Smith started on the mound, pitching four innings and giving up five runs on six hits. Hunter Hardin relieved Smith in the fifth, pitching 1.1 innings, and giving up six runs on four hits. Joshua Googe finished the game, giving up three runs on two hits.

The county teams were back in action over the weekend, as the Urchins fell to Tupelo 8-1, New Albany lost 7-3 to Oxford on Friday and 3-1 to Tishomingo County on Saturday. Myrtle had a good return home, defeating Pine Grove 14-1 on Saturday.

About Chris Elkins

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