Story and photo by Mark Carpenter –
Still searching for that elusive second win of the spring, Coach Joe Kramer and his West Union Dragons baseball squad took to the road on Monday, April 10 for a match up with one of the top teams in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, the Fayetteville Rockets. The Dragons took an early 3-0 lead on the Rockets, but a five-spot for the home team in the bottom of the second gave them a lead they continued to build on as they claimed a 13-6 win.
West Union broke the scoring ice quickly in the top of the first, when leadoff hitter Ryan Rothwell reached on an error, stole second, and came home on a base hit to left by Janson Kramer.
In the top of the second, the Dragons added one more to their lead. Andrew Weeks started the frame by drawing a walk off of Fayetteville starter Tay Call, and moved to second when a Casey Mullenix bunt was misplayed. Uncharacteristically, the Rockets made their second straight error on a ground ball off the bat of Cody Thornberry. Weeks scored on that miscue to put West Union on top 2-0.
That lead was short-lived as the host Rockets touched up West Union starter Brandan Cornell with five runs in the bottom of the second and another in the bottom of the third to lead 6-3. The Dragons battled back in the top of the fourth, scoring twice on RBI singles by Mullenix and Rothwell to narrow the gap to one, but the Rockets answered, chasing Cornell from the game with a three-run fifth.
With reliever Janson Kramer on the mound for the Dragons, Fayetteville added four more in the bottom of the fifth, all unearned as the Rockets took advantage of some shaky West Union defense. Trailing now 13-5, the Dragons scored their final run of the day in the top of the seventh on back to back doubles by Cornell and Jared Fenton, but that was all she wrote as Michael Carson lined out to second for the game’s final out and a 13-6 Fayetteville triumph.
“We had the lead early, but we just couldn’t keep it,” said Coach Kramer.
The loss was the sixth in a row for the Dragons after a season-opening win.
120 200 1 –6
051 340 x –13
W. Union Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Rothwell 4-1-1-1, Kramer 4-0-2-2, Cornell 4-1-1-0, Fenton 3-0-1-1, D. Grooms 4-0-0-0, Weeks 2-2-0-0, G. Grooms 0-0-0-0, Carson 4-0-0-0, Mullenix 2-2-1-1, Thornberry 3-0-1-0, Team 30-6-7-5.
Extra-Base Hits: Fenton 2B, Cornell 2B
W. Union Pitching: Cornell (L) 3 IP, 11 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 77 pitches
Kramer 3 IP, 1 H, 5