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Bears maul Blue Devils 18-8 in five innings

April 30th, 2014 10:57 pm by George Thwaites

Bears maul Blue Devils 18-8 in five innings

See the photo gallery from the game

KINGSPORT — The Union offense rained base hits like hail stones on Gate City's heads at Hunter Wright Stadium Wednesday night.

Union leadoff hitter Will Hubbard went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, also picking up his seventh decision of the season and the Bears won 18-8 in five innings.

"That was crazy. We got the momentum. They grabbed it, we got it back and doggone if they weren't grabbing for it at the end," said Union coach J.W. Salyers, who pulled Hubbard (7-0) after the first three innings.

Matt Ashley also had three hits and three RBIs for the Bears (10-2, 3-2). Hunter Neece, Tommy Fleenor and Rhett Lunsford had two hits apiece,

The Bears jumped on Gate City starter Kyle Graham (0-2) with three runs in the first inning on four hits. This included a two-RBI single by Neece, who got thrown out on a base running mistake.

It was a minor setback. Union added five more runs in the second off an error and five hits, including a two-RBI single by Ashley. The Bears tacked on three more in the top of the third to make it 11-0. This spurt included an RBI double by Ethan Villiard and a sacrifice fly from Fleenor.

In the bottom of the third, Gate City (2-9, 1-3) mustered some push-back against reliever Logan Mullins, scoring two runs on a Hunter Collier sacrifice fly and a Brandon Baskette RBI single.

The Blue Devils challenged the 10-run rule with three more runs in the fourth and did so again in the fifth. A seven-run rally by Union in the top of the fifth had all that covered.

Five Gate City pitchers allowed 15 hits and 10 walks, three of which plated runs. On the up side, a pinch-hit RBI double by Brandon Minton as rain picked up in the fifth displayed a remarkably spirited denial of the apparent circumstances.

For an expanded version of this story, see Wednesday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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