U.P. Baseball Beats Cardinal Gibbons
Union Pines topped Cardinal Gibbons 12-9 in a nonconference baseball tilt Tuesday at Viking Field.
The Vikings improved to 16-4 on the season and ran their current win streak to five games with the victory.
It did not take long for Union Pines’ red hot bats to produce runs in the afternoon ballgame, as the Vikes scored four runs in the first inning and two in the second to build a 6-1 lead.
Junior Seth Breasseale plated the first two runs of the game by lacing a pull shot down the right field line. Kelly then brought Breasseale home with a deep blast to center for a round tripper. The pair also accounted for both of Union Pines’ RBIs in the second frame with two bases loaded walks.
Justin Allred extended the Vikings’ advantage to 7-1 when he smashed a solo home run high and deep to center in the bottom of the fourth.
The junior shortstop continued his stellar stick work for the Vikings, going 2-for-3 with four runs and a walk.
“Coach (Chad) Hill preaches to us to take a backside approach at the plate,” Allred said, “and to have a solid two strike approach. As a team we have been doing that well, which has helped us get a lot of hits and runs.”
Over his last four games, Allred is 10-for-12 with the bat and has tallied 15 RBIs, 11 runs, five homers and three doubles. His home run count is second on the squad behind Breasseale’s 10, while Nic Collins has seven.
“Right now I am feeling really good up at the plate,” he said. “I cannot remember a time I have felt better.”
The visiting Crusaders rallied in the top of the fifth, scoring three runs on four hits, including a two-run dinger by John Humienny, to trim Union Pines’ edge to 7-4. But the Vikings answered back directly in the bottom half, posting a five-spot featuring two-run hits by both Collins and Kelly, as Union Pines carried a 12-4 lead into the sixth inning.
Kelly got the pitching win for the Vikings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out six. It was the senior’s eighth victory of the season as he tied the Union Pines’ school record for pitching wins in a season. He also helped his own cause with the bat, going 2-for-3 with five RBIs and a walk.
Gabe Gonzalez breezed through his one inning of relief work for Union Pines, retiring the side in order on 12 pitches in the top of the sixth inning.
Collins then took the mound for Union Pines in the top of the seventh inning. The Crusaders touched the junior captain for five runs on three hits, three walks and an error. A bases loaded two-run double eventually brought the potential game-tying run to the plate for Cardinal Gibbons, but Collins managed to retire the batter by forcing a pop up out to bring the game to a close.
The Vikings have now scored 12 or more runs in each of their last five games. Union Pines returned to the diamond Thursday in Robbins for a cross-county nonconference clash with North Moore.
The Vikings play host to the Pinecrest Patriots in another intra-county contest set for 7 p.m Monday.
Contact F.W. Manning II at email@example.com.
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