|Coleman’s return comes just in time to key UC triumph |
Nate Coleman could not have returned to the Union City sports scene at a more opportune time.
New Union City Greyhound Nate Coleman drove in a trio during the team’s victory Tuesday evening.
The former Union City High School standout in baseball, football and basketball joined the Union City Greyhounds five hours prior to the start of the team’s 13-3 routing of the Fulton Railroaders.
Coleman, who was an All-State football performer in 2005, keyed the ’Hounds four-run second inning with a two-run double down the right field line in his first-ever Kitty League at-bat.
The newest Greyhound finished the evening with three runs batted in and two scored to give the struggling team a victory to end its seven-game road trip.
“I’ve been on the waiting list to play for the Greyhounds and (Chris) Crockett called me today at around 2 p.m. and asked if I was ready to play,” said Coleman, who is now playing at Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Miss. “I’m wearing my own pants and a hat that I had to fold inward because it is too big, but that’s what any baseball player would do in order to compete.
“As for my first at-bat, I was trying to stay back on a pitch and I was able to hit one down the line.”
The spot on the roster opened up for Coleman when Chase Samford chose to quit the team.
In another roster note, Trenton native Tanner Hensley has also turned in his Union City jersey.
UC is also expected to have another familiar face in uniform Thursday when McKenzie native Drew Hayes is scheduled to start on the mound against the Owensboro Oilers at Elam Stadium. The Greyhounds (5-7) do not play today.
With Tuesday’s win, the ’Hounds finish their seven-game road trip 2-5.
“This was a very important game for us with the off day on Wednesday,” UC manager Jonathan Estes said after the game. “We needed to get some momentum going and we did, thanks to a good performance by our pitchers and an evening in which the offense brought it.”
The victory was also bittersweet for Estes as it was his first in Kitty League action against his younger brother David, who is the Fulton skipper.
On Tuesday, the Greyhounds got all the runs they would need in the second inning.
Trey Horn drew a leadoff walk and Justin Miller singled to put two on with no one out.
Designated hitter Ace Williams advanced the runners with a textbook sacrifice bunt to set the stage for Coleman’s first at-bat.
Coleman chased both of his new teammates home with a double past Fulton first baseman Louie Haseltine.
Greyhounds’ catcher Tyler Acker then singled to put runners at the corners for leadoff man Jon Ivie.
Ivie came through in the clutch with a double to deep left field that plated both Coleman and Acker to put UC up 4-0.
Union City had one other lasting offensive moment later in the game. In the top of the eighth second baseman Cam Strang, who had already wowed the crowd with his defensive range on a trio of splendid plays, lifted a three-run homer over the right field wall.
On the mound, Brad Lawrence got the victory for the Greyhounds with five hits and one run allowed in five innings.
Huntingdon native Spencer Clifft pitched the final four innings to earn the save.
For Fulton, Kyle Barnett lasted just 31/3 innings during the defeat.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.