The Yellow Jackets put up a valiant effort on Wednesday against 4-A Hillcrest, but after 15 innings played over the course of four and a half hours, fatigue set in and Union County suffered a 15-13 loss.
Union County’s battery of Recus Hughes and Keimond Eison worked from the mound with Hughes getting the start and Eison taking the loss.
The Jackets fell behind in the top of the third when the Rams scored five runs on three hits for a 5-1 ballgame.
Cal Arnold singled in the bottom of the inning to score Lee Wilburn and the Jackets closed the margin to three. Hillcrest picked up a run in the top of the fourth but Union County rallied on their next at bat to pick up four runs and tie the game at 6-6.
Heading into the sixth inning, Union County had taken a 8-7 lead with a two run triple from Hughes but a Jackets throwing error in the bottom of the inning allowed a Hillcrest run to score, knotting the game back up at 8-8.
After five scoreless innings, Hillcrest used a fielders choice with a throwing error, a sacrifice and an RBI single to take a 11-8 lead.
However, the Jackets answered with three runs of their own to stay alive.
Jake Walton singled to start off the inning. Josh Simpson and Eison each drew a walk to load the bases and force a fourth pitching change for the Rams. Dustin Payne singled, driving in two runs for Union County. Eison reached home off a passed ball before the inning was over to, once again, tie the game, 11-11.
Two scoreless innings later, in the top of the fifteenth, Hillcrest wore Union County down with two runs on three hits.
Hillcrest’s pitcher fanned the last three Jackets batters for the 13-11 final.