Vikings Drop Two in Tourney Play
Coming off an 8-5 loss to Jack Britt in Saturday’s opening round of the Hoyt-Warren Invitational at Douglas Byrd, the Union Pines baseball team dropped an 8-3 decision to Scotland in the tournament’s consolation bracket on Monday.
With the defeat, the Vikings fall to 5-7 overall and are 2-2 in Cape Fear Valley 3A Conference play. Union Pines was scheduled to play in the seventh-place game Tuesday at Douglas Byrd.
In addition to being competitive with established 4A programs, another positive for the Vikings has been Nic Collins’ masterful work with the bat as of late. The sophomore captain has 22 hits in Union Pines’ last six ballgames. Monday, he went 2-for-4 and belted a two-run homer deep to right-center that sailed more than 410 feet in the air.
During the last six games, Collins is batting .846 with four home runs, three doubles, 11 runs batted in. He has an on-base percentage of .961 and a slugging percentage of 1.54.
Saturday, he went 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored in Union Pines’ opening-round tilt. In the Vikes’ 12-5 win Thursday at East Montgomery, Collins was 5-for-5 with three RBIs, a double and a two-run homer.
Monday’s loss was the third in four games for Union Pines. Sophomore Justin Allred started on the mound for the Vikes. He gave up a run in the bottom of the second but managed to minimize the damage in the frame by leaving the bases loaded with Fighting Scots.
A three-run blast over the center field fence by lefty Curt Britt in the bottom of the fourth saw Scotland take a 4-0 lead. Collins then answered with a two-run homer of his own that made the score 4-2 after the Vike half of the fifth.
However, Britt struck again for Scotland in the bottom of the frame with a two-run single that gave his team a 6-2 advantage after five frames were finished.
Allred went four innings in the losing cause, allowing four runs, six hits and six walks while striking out four. Alex Fricke picked up the win for the Scots, tossing five innings in which he allowed two runs, five hits and three walks.
On Saturday, Union Pines trailed Jack Britt 4-0 after four innings of play. However, run-scoring singles by Justin Wilson and designated hitter Carson Kelly in the bottom of the fifth closed the margin to 4-2.
The Buccaneers later rallied for two runs in the top of the sixth frame using three hits and three Vike errors to extend the lead to 6-3. In the bottom of the inning, Union Pines’ Keaton Thomas delivered an RBI double to plate two runs, and Collins followed suit, doubling in Thomas to make it a 6-4 ballgame as play moved to the final inning.
Union Pines’ next game is a nonconference, cross-county clash Saturday against North Moore at 7 p.m. in Robbins.
Contact F.W. Manning II at (910) 639-5481 or by e-mail at email@example.com
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