TWC Athletic News
Team congratulates Stephen Branca after homerun
Team congratulates Stephen Branca after homerun
Baseball - Mon, Mar. 19, 2012

The Bulldogs have increased their winning streak to 20 after the weekend, as well as gotten into a great position in the AAC with a 9-0 record, 4 games over Point who is 5-3 and Bryan who is 5-4.  Tennessee Wesleyan took all three games against Union, winning 11-7 and 5-4 in the double header on Saturday, and then 17-14 on Sunday. 

In the first game of the series the Bulldogs started off with the 1-0 lead after the first inning, when Stephen Branca and Jake Stone both reached base on a walk before Taylor Oldham hit a double to left scoring Branca. Union answered that run in the top of the 2nd, but the Bulldogs scored another in the bottom to once again take the lead. Tennessee Wesleyan continued to extend their lead in the bottom of the 3rd with 2 more runs and then put 5 on the board in the bottom of the 4th. Branca started the scoring in the 3rd with a solo home run to begin the inning. Jake Stone and Taylor Oldham then both reached on a walk, and were advanced when a balk was called on Union. A dropped fly on Jordan Guida's hit got him to first and scored Jake Stone. 

Thomas Sicking started the 4th inning with a single followed by a ground out by Travis Burnside which advanced Sicking to third base. Anthony Boix was able to score Sicking when he doubled to right field.  Stephen Branca then hit a single, before Jake Stone was walked to load the bases. Taylor Oldham was hit by a pitch which moved everyone around to score Boix. Branca and Stone both scored when Drew Levi hit a double to right file. A sac fly by Jordan Guida scored Oldham. 

Union tried to rally back with 3 more runs in the 5th and 7th but the Bulldogs extended their lead with 2 of their own in the 5th leaving Union to much ground to cover, and giving Tennessee Wesleyan the 11-7 win.

The Bulldogs had 10 hits with Stephen Branca having 3 of those and scoring 4 runs. Stephen Branca, Taylor Oldham, Drew Levi, Jordan Guida all had 2 RBIs. Josh Culler threw 4 1/3 innings giving up 4 runs on 6 hits while striking out 2. Zach Fleshman finished the game giving up 7 hits and 3 runs, striking out one and walking one. 

In the second game on Saturday, Union put up the first run but Tennessee Wesleyan answered back in the bottom of the first inning with one run. The fourth inning looked similar with Union getting two runs in the top half, then the Bulldogs answering with two, to remain tied at 3-3. Union scored one more in the 5th to take the lead, until the Bulldogs tied the score in the bottom of the 6th.  The game went into the 8th inning. Union was 3 up and 3 down. Stephen Branca was the first up for the Bulldogs and hit a homerun to win the game, 5-4.

Getting hits for the Bulldogs was Travis Burnside, Stephen Branca, Jake Stone, Drew Levi, Dale Ricketts, and Thomas Sicking. Jeremy Fitzgerald started the game and pitched five and a third innings. He gave up four runs on 7 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2. Corey Collins finished the game and gave up one hit. 

Both teams came out on Sunday swinging the bats and each had 17 hits, with 5 doubles and 5 homeruns for the game.  The Bulldogs took a 6-1 lead after the 2nd inning. Union tried to rally back scoring 4 in the 3rd. Tennessee Wesleyan scored one in the bottom of the 4th, 3 in the bottom of the 6th, two in the 7th, and five in the 8th. Union tried to come back scoring one in the fifth and 4 in the 8th and 9th but it wasn't enough. 

A leadoff home run gave Union a 1-0 lead off Wesleyan starter Josh McDaniel in the first inning. Wesleyan responded with a three-run homer from Branca, following singles from Burnside and Boix. Guida's single and doubles from Sicking, Boix and Branca upped the lead to 6-1 after two innings.

Leading 6-5, Wesleyan added a run in the third on singles from Oldham, Levi and Ricketts. A hit-batsman, walk and Oldham's homer in the sixth gave TWC a 10-6 advantage and two more runs in the seventh made it 12-6. Union cut the deficit to 12-10 before Wesleyan struck for five runs in the eighth, highlighted by Boix's RBI single and Oldham's grand-slam home run.   Union, however, got a three-run homer in the bottom of the innings and brought the tying run to the plate before reliever Corey Collins struck out the final batter.

McDaniel got the win, allowing six runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and three walks. Corey Rhoney gave up three runs on five hits with two strikeout and one walk. Al Yevoli surrendered one run on one hit with a strikeout and two walks over 2/3 of an inning. Collins pitched one inning, allowing four runs on two hits with one strikeout and three walks.

Oldham had three hits, driving in eight runs and scoring three. Branca had two hits with four RBIs and three runs scored. Boix had four hits, two RBIs, four runs scored; Levi two hits; Ricketts two hits, RBI and Sicking one hit, RBI, two runs scored.

The Bulldogs play on Wednesday against Trevecca Nazarene at 2:00 pm.