Twisters ace test in drama

Twisters ace test in drama
Twisters ace test in drama

Union City’s Drake Parker slides in at the plate and looks for a way to score during Monday’s game.
HUNTINGDON — Union City spiced up its regional semifinal baseball win with a little drama.
And there’s nothing like the sweet taste of victory.
The Tornadoes built a big lead, allowed Huntingdon to get within a single run, then salted away a triumph and a spot in both Wednesday’s championship game and in the Class A sectionals Friday with a 12-8 decision over the Mustangs Monday.
UC (23-7) now gets another shot at Greenfield (20-6), a team that beat the Twisters twice in the District 14A Tournament — including the championship game — and three times in four meetings in all this spring.
The stakes in that next matchup, scheduled for Wednesday at 5 on the Yellowjackets’ turf, is the Region 7A title and a host role in Friday’s sectional vs. either defending state champion Riverside or Trinity Christian Academy.
“It’s great to win at this level and earn the right to play on,” Tornado head coach Jeremy Maddox said. “We took advantage of some situations and were patient at the plate to build a big lead, but I was most proud of the resiliency we showed when they capitalized on a chance we gave them to get back in the game in the sixth.
“We came right back and gave ourselves a little more breathing room with three runs in the seventh, and we did so by taking advantage of what they gave us.”
Monday’s victory marks the second consecutive year that Union City has gone on the road and beaten Huntingdon in the region semis to secure a spot in the 7A championship game and a place in the sectionals.
Drake Parker went 4-for-6 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and two runs batted in as UC scored seven unanswered runs to build a 9-2 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth against the homestanding Mustangs on Monday.
Parker then relieved starter Clay Treece with two outs in that frame after three Tornado errors had allowed Huntingdon to score six times to crawl within 9-8 and got Jess Dill on a harmless infield fly to keep Union City in front.
The Tornadoes tacked on three runs to their lead without a hit in the seventh before Parker retired the side without incident to seal the victory.
Caleb Long had two hits, including a double, and reached base three times while also driving in two runs for the victors.
Matthew Keathley jacked a solo homer, got aboard on three occasions and scored twice, while Tyler Steward came around on two occasions.
Brandon Griffin doubled as part of UC’s 11-hit attack.
“A lot of people might think Huntingdon gave us the game, but in addition to nine walks we had, we also had 11 hits and stranded nine runners,” Maddox added. “We got some timely hits when we needed them.”
Only one of the eight runs charged to Treece was earned as he picked up his ninth win against just one loss.
The save was Parker’s fifth.

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