Vikings Make Statement with Overhills Blowout
The Union Pines Viking baseball team made a major statement in its return to Cape Fear Valley Conference play Tuesday, slugging six home runs en route to a 17-2 victory against Overhills in Cameron.
With the victory, Union Pines improved to 6-0 alone atop the CFVC standings and 11-3 overall, while Overhills (7-6) dropped to 4-3 in the league play.
After the game, Vike head coach Chad Hill spoke about his team’s performance to close the first half of its conference campaign.
“This was definitely a great way to get set for the second half of the season,” Hill said, “and Overhills has been swinging the bat well. They beat Western Harnett 14-9 and Gray’s Creek 13-12, so we talked about coming in tonight and trying to kill their momentum early.”
After Viking starting pitcher Carson Kelly retired the side in order on 10 pitches in the top half of the first, junior shortstop Justin Allred got the home run derby started for Union Pines with a line drive solo shot to right center in the bottom of the inning.
Next, lefty captain and No. 3 hitter Nic Collins jerked a majestic smash high into the night and straight down the right field line for a round tripper. The back-to-back blasts gave Union Pines a 2-0 lead through an inning of play.
Kelly struck out the side in the top of the second inning and Union Pines proceeded to post a seven-spot on the board in the bottom of the frame. Using seven hits, including an RBI single by Allred and a two-run homer by junior first baseman Seth Breasseale, the Vikes built a 9-0 lead. The longball was Breasseale’s team-leading fifth of the season. He also leads the squad with 19 RBI and is batting .500.
In the third inning, the Vikes scored six more runs on four hits and two walks to take a 15-0. lead Three of those hits left the yard as Noble Davis, Allred and starting pitcher Carson Kelly all had two-run homers in the frame.
Allred went 4-for-4 on the night with two dingers, five RBIs, three runs scored and a double, while Davis was 2-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
“Before this one my adrenaline was pumping and I knew it was going to be a good game,” said Allred. “If we keep going with the same attitude and take the same approach we had at the plate tonight, I think we should do pretty good against Gray’s Creek on Friday.”
Kelly went four innings on the mound to get the win. The senior improved to 5-1 on the season as he allowed one unearned run on one hit and one walk while striking out six.
Other batting leaders for Union Pines included Gabe Gonzalez (1-2, 2R BB), N. Collins (2-2, HR, SAC, 2R, 2 RBI), Dylan Kelly (1-1, 2R, BB) and Mason Collins (2-3, 2R RBI).
Nic Collins said that right now he is sure the baseball looks like a beach ball for the Viking hitters.
“It feels good to have everybody contributing this season,” said the junior captain. “One through nine, all of our guys have the ability to take the ball over the fence and are capable of doing their job at the plate in clutch situations.
“Right now everybody is just having fun and doing their part, not only at the bat, but in the field. Our goal is still to go undefeated in conference this year and I feel like we have a good shot.”
Currently, Nic Collins is batting a team high .589 with 19 runs, 18 RBIs, three homers, four doubles, two triples with an on on-base percentage of .653 and a slugging percentage of 1.026.
The Union Pines club returns to league action tonight, when the Vikings host Gray’s Creek (7-6, 4-3) at 7 p.m. on Cancer Awareness Night.
Contact F.W. Manning II at email@example.com.
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