|Sectional siren sounds for UC |
|Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 5:47 pm |
HUNTINGDON — A tornado warning was issued for Carroll County minutes after Monday’s Region 7A semifinal game finished.
Union City’s Tyler Steward hustles down the line after a sacrifice fly.
Huntingdon might have been better suited had it came before the contest.
Union City, which was plagued by errors during Thursday’s District 14A title loss to Greenfield, offered up a flawless defensive outing, committing zero miscues as the locals earned a 2-1 victory and a trip to both the 7A title game and sectional round.
“Our guys knew they had to play nearly perfect to beat an outstanding fundamental team like Huntingdon,” UC head coach Jeremy Maddox said. “We came ready to play and Rance (Barnes) stepped up like he has all postseason and gave us a chance to compete in a low-scoring, close game.
“Come to think of it, I don’t think we’ve played a 2-1 game all season. We’ve had some one-run games but they were like 10-9 or something like that.”
Senior hurler Rance Barnes went the distance, allowing just four hits to throw his third straight postseason gem and pilot the Twisters to the triumph on Monday.
With the victory, the Twisters (21-15) have assured themselves of at least two more outings this spring — the first of which is the 7A title tilt on Wednesday at 6:30. The venue of the regional title game is still up in the air, according to Maddox. The Union City baseball coach told The Messenger this morning that G’field has considered moving the title tilt to Elam Stadium.
No final decision was available as of press time.
On Monday, Greenfield did move its 6-3 victory over Clarksburg in the 7A semifinals to the Twisters’ field due to unplayable conditions in Weakley County.
All totaled, UC has faced the Yellowjackets four times this season.
Greenfield defeated the Twisters twice this postseason — 6-3 in the district title game and 15-3 in the 14A tournament winner’s bracket semifinals. The two teams split during the regular season — the Tornadoes claiming a 6-4 win at G’field. The Yellowjackets routed UC 8-1 at Elam Stadium.
Regardless of Wedn-esday’s outcome, Union City has punched its ticket to the sectional round for the first time since 2003.
The Twisters will play either Riverside, Westwood, Adamsville or Douglass in that do-or-die game.
A win in Friday’s contest would put Union City in the TSSAA State Tournament for the first time since 1995.
On Monday, the Mus-tangs, who scheduled the game for a 3:30 start time so as not to conflict with graduation, were off the field an hour and 36 minutes later.
Union City drew first blood with a run in the second inning and the lead wasn’t relinquished from that point.
During said frame, second baseman Branson Sherwood roped an one-out double down the left field line.
The Twister junior ad-vanced to third on a wild pitch and senior first baseman Will Arnold got the run in with a deep sacrifice fly to center field off losing pitcher Jay Pierce.
In the top of the fourth, UC manufactured what turned out to be the winning run. Third baseman Zack Cavness, who was a vacuum at third base defensively, singled to begin the canto.
An Arnold bloop base hit dropped in center field put a pair on for Barnes and a passed ball allowed Cavness to move to third and Arnold to advance to second.
Then, Barnes singled to chase in Cavness and give Union City a 2-0 advantage.
From there, the Twister hurler was challenged twice, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth without incident.
The Mustangs finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Ben Carter doubled and Brandon Melton smacked a two-bagger to plate his teammate.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.