Kingsport Times-News: Union stuns John Battle with four-run seventh
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Union stuns John Battle with four-run seventh

By JOHNNY WILSON, Sports Correspondent • May 19, 2019 at 1:22 AM

ABINGDON — The Union baseball team wasn’t too worried about the rain on Saturday night, not after the Bears had earlier staged an improbable comeback to upset John Battle in semifinal play of the Mountain 7 District tournament.

The third-seeded Bears, who lost both of their regular-season games against Battle, scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning to produce a shocking 7-6 verdict over the second-seeded Trojans.

In Saturday night’s second semifinal, an electrical storm and rain forced an hour-and-a-half delay with two outs in the top of the first inning, Gate City batting against Abingdon. The top-seeded Falcons eventually went on to beat the Blue Devils 8-1.

Union (14-8) will meet Abingdon in Monday’s night’s championship game at Falcon Park. The Trojans and Blue Devils will face off in the consolation game at 4:30 p.m.

Next week’s Region 2D tournament field is set regardless, with Union, John Battle, Gate City and Wise Central all participating.

Regular-season Mountain 7 champion Abingdon will play in the Region 3D tournament.

THE COMEBACK

Left-handed veteran Landon Moore had Battle in prime position to claim a win after pitching six solid innings. Moore exited with a 6-3 advantage.

However, Nate Bailey led off the top of the seventh with a solo home run off reliever Zane Poe, providing the Bears some hope.

Union continued to put pressure on the Trojans when Brody Gibson smacked a two-out RBI single that made it a 6-5 game.

With two outs and the game pretty well on the line, Mason Caldwell stroked a two-run single that gave the Bears their 7-6 advantage.

Bailey, who had relieved starter Hunter Anderson to begin the fifth, closed out the Trojans in the bottom of the seventh to gain the victory.

Poe was saddled with the loss.

BEARS POUND IT

The Trojans (13-9) produced seven singles but no extra-base hits.

Union, meanwhile, came up with several productive base knocks, including four doubles in addition to Bailey’s home run.

Bailey finished with two hits, including a double, and three runs batted in. Caldwell collected two doubles and those two RBIs.

Austin Gibson had two hits, including a double, and an RBI for coach David Wyrick.

Moore had two base hits and knocked in a run for Battle. Dylan Cunningham, Garrett Bowman and Bryson Almany also drove in runs for the Trojans.

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