UP Nine Drops Opener
The Union Pines baseball team limped out of the starting gate Tuesday, losing its season opener 10-3 to Cardinal Gibbons at Viking Field in Cameron.
Through one-half inning of action in its 2012 debut, the homestanding Vikings trailed 3-0 as starting pitcher Seth Breasseale walked three batters, hit another and saw his defense commit two errors.
After three innings were in the books, 3-A Cardinal Gibbons held a 6-0 lead as 3-A Union Pines had committed four errors. The frame marked the end of the night on the mound for Breasseale. The sidearm southpaw hurler tossed 95 total pitches in three innings of work, allowing six walks, three hits and one hit batter.
Back-to-back solo shots from Viking seniors Nic Collins and Justin Allred in the bottom of the fourth frame trimmed the Crusaders' lead to 6-2.
Trailing 7-2, Union Pines had the bases loaded with two away in its half of the fifth when Collins drew a walk. However, Allred could not capitalize as he was rung up looking for strike three, stranding two runners in scoring position.
Union Pines left two more runners on base in the bottom of the sixth. Then a two-run homer by winning Crusader pitcher Tyler Pickard capped off a three-run seventh for Cardinal Gibbons to put the game out of reach.
Pickard finished the night 1-for-3 with the stick with two walks and four RBIs. On the mound he went five solid innings to get the win, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out six batters.
Viking starting outfielders Mason Collins (sophomore, LF) Jeffrey Thompson (junior, CF) and Dylan Kelly (senior, RF) each had two-hit days with the stick, while Union Pines totaled nine hits in the tilt.
The Vikings (1-0) are scheduled to hit the road for a cross-county nonconference clash with 4-A Pinecrest today in Southern Pines at 5 p.m.
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