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Tazewell knocks out Union in extra innings

KEVIN MAYS, [email protected] • May 29, 2018 at 12:49 AM

TAZEWELL — Being aggressive paid off in the end for Tazewell.

Zack Tatum doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored the winning run on an errant throw in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 extra-inning win over Union on Monday night in a Region 2D baseball quarterfinal game at Lou Perry Field.

Tazewell (15-7) advanced to Wednesday’s regional semifinals. The Bulldogs will play Mountain 7 top seed John Battle at Boyce Cox Field in Bristol, Va., in a 7:30 p.m. contest. The other semifinal game, set for 5 p.m., will feature Southwest District top seed Virginia High playing today’s winner of the rain-delayed game between Wise Central and Grayson County.

Tatum accounted for three of Tazewell’s six hits, including a double to open the bottom of the eighth. Two outs later, a wild pitch allowed him to move to third. He then scored on an errant throw to give Tazewell the win.

The play in the eighth followed a failed attempt in the seventh by Tazewell’s J.J. Huffman to score on a suicide-squeeze play.

“We probably shouldn’t have run the squeeze in the seventh, but we’ve got to gamble and be aggressive,” said Tazewell coach Aaron Buchanan.

Union pitcher Adam Cox held the Bulldogs in check for five innings, and the senior tallied 13 strikeouts over his seven innings.

“What can you say about Adam Cox? He battled for seven-plus innings, up to his pitch count, and he was good as he’s ever been,” said Union coach J.W. Salyers.

Union scored two runs on three hits in the third. Mason Caldwell, who finished 2-for-2, highlighted the inning with a two-RBI single that plated Noah Adams and Hunter Anderson.

Tazewell tied it in the sixth. Tatum doubled, Austin Horn singled, Tatum came home on Sydney Willis’ sac fly and Horn scored on an error.

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