Sweep sensation: Union starts 2019 with two victories

(Photo: Union College Athletics)

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – The Union College baseball team got its 2019 season off to a great start with a sweep over Shawnee State University (Ohio) Saturday. The Bulldogs defeated the Bears in game one 4-0 before a big 19-6 win in game two.

Nick Shumaker and Jake Mendoza each hit their first home runs on the season, as Shumaker hit a three-run homer over right field fence on a 0-2 count. Mendoza connected with his first pitch for a two-run home run.

With the wins, Union starts off the season 2-0 overall, while Shawnee State moves to 0-2.


Union put two runs across the board in the second inning as Mendoza earned his first RBI off a bunt, and Chris Guiles hit a sac fly to deep center field making it a 2-0 game. Daniel Neal hit a solo shot to left field, moving runners around the bases scoring two more runs and finishing the game with a 4-0.


Neal had a perfect game going 3-for-3, one run scored, a game-high of two RBIs and a stolen base. On the mound, AJ Villa pitched four complete innings allowing just three hits while striking out four batters. Villa won the game, and McKinley Sewell collected save, pitching three innings allowing no hits and no runs with two strikeouts.


Shawnee State got off to a hot start scoring three runs in the first inning, but Union answered back by racking up 14 runs in the second inning with a three-run homer from Shumaker. He also hit a double to score two more, and Guiles with a double over right-center fence. Guiles passed the bat to Mendoza who also lined a double to center field scoring two more runners.

With the Bulldogs up 14-3, the Bears came back to score three before Union answered back with three runs of their own off of a Mendoza two-run home run and an RBI single from Shumaker. In the fifth inning, Union enhanced its lead to 19-6 thanks to Dallas Green RBI single up the middle.


Mendoza led the Bulldog offensively with a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate, three runs scored and four RBIs as well as a home run. Shumaker was 3-for-5 in the game, collecting two runs and a career-high of six RBIs.


Union tied the program record for most walks in a game when it received 16 bases on balls in the second game. The last time the Bulldogs drew that many walks came in a game against Ashland University (Ohio) during the 2000 season.


Relief pitcher, Matt Pfeffer picked up his first win pitching two and 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.
Mendoza and Shumaker each had two doubles on the day, followed by Guiles with one.
Joe Gaines stole three bases on the day along with Neal and Tyler Graham with one.


“First game we all came out anxious, we still stuck it out through the first game,” said Shumaker. “AJ (Villa) pitched amazing, and McKinley (Sewell) came out and shut everyone down. The second game was a lot better for us hitting; we were more comfortable, swinging at better pitches, squaring more balls up, and we played fantastic defense as well with only one error on the day.”


Union concludes its series with Shawnee State with a 1 p.m. matinee.

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