"Walks just killed us," said Coach Tommy Ford. "And the fact that we just came off a game on Saturday. Belton's had a week to rest. I still feel like we can turn it around and win this thing."
Josh Simpson took the loss from the mound. The left hander tossed four innings before being relieved by Devontae "Fox" Glenn. Glenn pitched four rounds for Union before Seth Osborne entered for the final frame. Belton collected just five hits off the battery of pitchers, capitalizing on nine walks over the course of the game.
Union relinquished a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Belton used three walks and two hit batsmen to plate three runs before Jake Walton doubled to deep left-center field, scoring Glenn. Walton, himself crossed home on a passed ball to reclaim a 4-3 Union lead.
However, Belton saw back to back walks in the sixth, and a bunt loaded the bases. Juwuan Rice reeled in a fly to center field and came up gunning to catch the runner at home but a two-RBI double on the next play resulted in a 6-4 margin.
Belton tacked on another run in the seventh and Bubba Means led off the bottom of the inning with a walk. Jake Arthur smacked a double to deep left-center and Recus Hughes brought the two in with a triple to right field on two outs but a questionable call left Union down by one heading into the eighth.
Osborne seated three Belton batters on strikes to bring his team back to offense, trailing by one run. Walton was issued a lead-off walk and represented the tying run on first. However, luck was just not on Union's side and Simpson hit a hot shot that the shortstop knocked down. The ball fell out of the fielder's glove and ricoched off the toe of his cleat, dribbling directly to the second baseman who made the double play. Down to its last out, Union received a base runner when Adam Lawson drew a walk but a groundout ended the inning, as well as the game with a fortunate Belton team taking the first win of the series.
Union travels to Belton tonight for game number two before returning to the Timken Sports Complex on Wednesday.
Ford said that Union's starting pitcher for Tuesday would likely be a game-time decision and that fans could expect to see right handed hurler, Dylan Rogers back on the hill Wednesday.