Southern Union split a four-game series with Lincoln Trail out of Illinois Saturday and Sunday. The Bison won both games Saturday before losing a pair of one-run contests Sunday in a series that was evenly matched throughout.
The first game turned in the fourth inning when the Bison tied it at 2-2 on back-to-back doubles by Kasey Clark and Will Patota. Patota then came around to score what proved to be the winning run on a pair of wild pitches by starting pitcher Casey Bargo in a 3-2 SU victory.
The Bison managed just four hits in the game, and three of them came in that two-run fourth inning. But that was enough for the pitching duo of Drew Nobles and Andrew Cronan. Nobles (2-1) got the win after he allowed two runs and recorded seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work. He then gave way to Cronan who got the final five outs in hitless fashion to pick up his first save of the year.
Clayton Phillips and Earl Kochel each blasted a solo home run, and starting pitcher Brock Young picked up his third win of the season as the Bison won game two Saturday 4-1.
Phillips hit his home run leading off the third inning to stake SU to a 1-0 lead. The Bison added another run in the inning when Mitchell Rottier walked, stole second and came around to score on Brody Syer’s RBI single.
Those turned out to be the only two runs that SU would need. Young fought through some bouts of wildness but held Lincoln Trail to one run on two hits and five walks while recording six strikeouts.
Cronan again closed the door as he got the last four outs for his second save.
Kochel cushioned a 2-1 lead with a solo home run leading off the sixth inning. Rottier also had an RBI single later in the inning to provide the final margin of victory.
Lincoln Trail scored two runs in the second inning, and that turned out to be enough as the Statesmen knocked of SU 2-1 in the first game Sunday.
The Bison loaded the bases with one out in the third inning but only got one run out of it. Kasey Clark’s deep fly came up just short of being a grand slam, but it was caught on the warning track and became a sacrifice fly scoring Wood Jinright.
The Bison managed just one more base runner from that point on.
Logan Ross was the tough-luck loser on the mound for SU. Ross allowed just two hits and recorded seven strikeouts in four innings of work. Jinright and Rottier had the only two hits in the game for the Bison.
Lincoln Trail scored what proved to be the game-winning run on a seventh inning balk, and Southern Union lost the series finale 5-4 Sunday.
With a runner at third base SU pitcher Jordan Brown dropped the baseball while he was standing on the pitching rubber, which by rule is a balk. That allowed Brennan Martin to come home and give Lincoln Trail a 5-3 lead.
That came back to haunt Southern Union in the bottom of the inning after Kasey Clark scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead to one. The Bison then stranded runners on second and third to end the game.
Clark had an RBI triple earlier in the game, and Caleb Edmond and Clayton Phillips also had RBI hits in the contest.
Southern Union is scheduled to play at East Georgia College Thursday.
Southern Union’s men’s basketball team finished its season on a winning note with an 86-79 victory over Gadsden State Monday.
The Bison entered the game having lost six straight games and 12 out of their last 13, but Tommy Carter and company made sure that he and his fellow SU sophomores would finish their careers in style.
Carter had a triple double with a team-high 24 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 11 assists, while fellow sophomore Jonathan Norfus added 11 points and 17 rebounds.
Jeremiah Smith had 19 points and 11 rebounds as the Bison finished their season with a 10-17 record. Their 2-14 conference record was not enough to qualify them for next month’s ACCC tournament.
Southern Union’s women lost their regular season finale, but the Lady Bison will play at least one more game.
SU lost to Gadsden 71-63 Monday but still held on to the No. 5 seed out of the ACCC Northern division to qualify for the conference tournament at Snead State.
In Monday’s game SU built a 32-24 halftime advantage, but Gadsden seized control in the third quarter by outscoring the Lady Bison 24-9.
Tierra Williams led SU with 18 points, while Miranda Powell (15 points, 7 assists) and Elexus Bell (15 points, 11 rebounds) also scored in double figures.
The Lady Bison will take on Wallace-Selma at noon Friday in a first-round conference tournament game. The winner advances to the quarterfinals against Shelton State Tuesday.
The Southern Union softball team raised its record to 15-5 as it won three of four games last week.
The Lady Bison played two games in Bay Minette Friday, splitting those with a 5-4 win over Northwest Florida State and a 6-4 loss to Coastal Alabama – South.
Haley Lyner went 3-for-4 with a solo home run in the win, while pitcher Maddie Morton got the win in the circle with a complete-game effort in which she allowed two earned runs on six hits.
Coastal Alabama scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to erase a 4-3 SU lead and send the Bison to a 6-4 defeat.
Lyner continued to swing a hot bat as she again went 3-for-4 and scored two runs. Ansley Ogletree contributed a 3-for-4 effort at the plate as well, while Madison Purcell, Izzy Rohr and Jacey Akin had two hits apiece.
Savannah Sands took the loss in the circle. She gave up three earned runs on nine hits and three walks.
The Lady Bison got back on track with a doubleheader sweep of Georgia Highlands College at home Sunday.
SU overcame a 5-0 deficit with a 7-run fifth inning to claim a 7-5 victory in game one. Lyner and Kenzie Bayer had two hits apiece and combined to drive in three runs in that fifth inning.
Morton picked up the win in relief of starter Ansley Glover. Morton went 5.2 innings and allowed just two hits and no walks to hold Highlands scoreless over the final five-plus innings.
SU closed out its week with a 6-5 in the finale against Georgia Highlands. Again, one big inning proved to be the difference for the Lady Bison as they plated five runs in the fifth, then sweated out a three-run rally by Georgia Highlands in the seventh to hang on for the one-run victory.
Bayer went 2-for-3 at the plate to pace SU’s offense in the win.
Southern Union is scheduled to return to action Monday at home against Wabash Valley College.