By Coach Robert Driscol
Benton Community ended Union’s baseball season in Van Horne on July 19 in a first round district match up. Benton entered the game with a 26-13 record and rode the strong pitching of Mitch Moser to a 4-1 win. Moser limited the Knights to five hits while striking out nine.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when the Knights struck first. Sophomore Alex Barz lead the inning off with a double and moved to third on a fielder’s choice and eventually scored on Derek Holschlag’s two-out single. Union’s Nic Peters held Benton scoreless through four and Union clung to a 1-0 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth.
Benton was able to plate two runs off of a hit batter, a single, and a double to take a 2-1 lead into the sixth. Barz collected his second hit of the game with a lead-off single and was bunted to second by junior Bo Bader. Union was unable to push Barz across with the tying run as Moser ended the inning with consecutive strike outs.
Benton tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning and was able to retire Union in order in the seventh to end the game.
Benton advances with a 27-13 record while Union’s season comes to a close with a 13-18 record.
“We were proud of the teams’ effort and performance tonight. After Benton beat us by 10 runs in both ends of a doubleheader not that long ago, we weren’t sure how the kids would come out tonight. Nic and the defense set the tone early which kept us in the ballgame. Credit goes to Benton, as they have a nice ball club and came up with some timely hits that proved to be the difference,” said Union Head Coach, Robert Driscol.
“Doubling the number of wins we had last year is a nice improvement, but as coaches and the players know, we aren’t where we need to be yet. Losing seven one run games makes our record a bit deceiving, but with a core group of kids coming back next year, we’re anxious to see how the team performs. Going by our starting lineup at the District game, we return seven of nine starters so we are looking for a bright future. As coaches, we would like to thank the seniors for their commitment over the last few years and wish them best of luck in the future,” he added.