The Union Spartans hosted the Midway Raiders on their senior night for their last home game of the season. Two seniors were recognized that will be leaving the Spartan team, Jordan Blackburn and Chris Murphy. However, the Raiders were able to rally in the sixth inning to gain a big lead that helped them take the win, 16-3.
Little action happened in the diamond during the first inning. Both teams first inning hits were easy outs leaving the score 0-0.
The Spartans got their first break in the second inning. After being able to hold Midway at bat Tyler Murphy got 1 RBI after sending Ty Travers into home plate. Union was unable to get any more players back home before the Raiders sent them back onto the field, but with the lead 0-1.
The Raiders tried to come back during the third inning. Greg Nobles was able to slide into home plate but no Raiders were able to follow. With the Spartans back at bat Dawson Thornton was able to get a run after stealing second and gaining a double from a hit by Jordan Blackburn. This pushed Union ahead of the Raider again by the end of the third, 1-2.
Midway pushed during the fourth inning to gain the lead back from the Spartans. As the Raiders loaded the bases, Chandler Williford got a hit that sent Jake Clark to home plate. This was followed up by a hit from Austin Raynor that Matthew Nunnery was able to gain a run off of. With a 3-2 lead the Raiders increased their defense and allowed the Spartans no runs in the fourth.
However, the lead was short-lived for the Raiders as an adjustment in Spartan defense prevented Midway from gaining any runs in the fifth inning. Union was able to send Chris Murphy around the bases from a hit by Ty Travers that tied up the game, 3-3.
The Raiders came out a changed team in the sixth inning. Midway loaded the bases and got hit after hit that sent seven players back home. With a nice lead of 10-3, the Raiders held off the Spartans keeping them at 3 runs going into the seventh.
Midway continued their strong play in the seventh inning adding six more runs onto their score. The Spartans just couldn’t get up and a succession of three outs ended the game, 16-3.
For the Raiders, Dustin Holland pitched for all seven innings, striking out five. Freshman, Matthew Ballance pitched for the Spartans for the first five innings and was relieved in the sixth by Warren Gay.
Raider coach, Jason Fussell, was pleased with the end result of the game and commented on some of the Spartans’ good points.
“It was a good win for us,” he said. “Union’s pitcher at the start of the game did a really good job and kept us off balance. The boys made some adjustments and then we started hitting the ball pretty well. Union did a good job putting the ball in play but the team finally woke up in the fifth, and ended up with the win.”
The Raiders will have their last game of the season Friday against West Bladen, while the Spartans will travel to face off against East Bladen.
Reach Anna Moore at [email protected]