Union Pines Routs North Moore
The Union Pines baseball team remained on a tear Thursday, burying cross-county rival North Moore 21-0 in five innings.
After a scoreless first, the Vikings built a 6-0 lead in the second and things snowballed from there. The visitors followed that up with eight runs in the third. They tacked on two more in the fourth and five in the fifth.
Union Pines starter Gabe Gonzalez picked up the win, scattering four hits over four innings, walking two and striking out three. He also had an RBI double, drew two walks and scored four runs.
The Mustang pitchers — five in total — had trouble finding the strike zone. Four of the Vikings’ runs came on bases-loaded walks. Defensive miscues also proved costly.
“We didn’t change our approach coming up here at all,” U.P. head coach Chad Hill said. “That’s kind of been our forte all year — we work to get to the bullpen. We took good approaches and once you get to a certain point, it kind of snowballed a little bit.”
Seth Breasseale put the exclamation point on the evening with two three-run bombs over the right field fence. The first came in the third inning when he jumped all over the first pitch of the at bat and sent it into the parking lot.
He smoked another pitch in the top of the fifth to produce the final three runs of the game.
Now with 12 long balls on the year, Breasseale is the proud new owner of the school record for home runs in a season. The Viking slugger couldn’t explain why he’s had so much success going yard this season, other than he’s simply hitting the ball well right now.
“At the beginning of the season, coach Hill has meetings with all of the players on the team,” he said. “The goal for this year for me was five home runs. Twelve home runs are more than I could ever dream for. It’s amazing.”
He finished with eight RBIs on the night — the two others came on a single in the second inning.
“He’s been locked in since early February,” Hill said of Breasseale. “Tonight, he got two pitches he could handle and he took care of it. It’s great to see a kid that’s worked so hard do good.”
Nic Collins drove in three runs, one off a single in the second and two off a double in the third. Justin Allred, Noble Davis, Keaton Thomas and Ryan Gilmore each had two RBIs.
Union Pines (17-4) will host Pinecrest Monday in another Moore County showdown. It then travels to Southern Lee Friday for an important Cape Fear Valley Conference game. The Vikings are atop the CFVC standings, a game ahead of the Cavaliers.
“Our goal was to be in the running for a conference championship, so the big game is Friday week,” Hill said. “We’ll be prepared for that, and hopefully there will be a ton of people there Monday to celebrate our three seniors that have played for us for four years.”
The Mustangs (15-4) have more than a week off before hosting a critical match-up with North Rowan, one of the two teams it is battling for the Yadkin Valley Conference regular season crown.
Contact John Krahnert III at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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