The Union Post 22 Senior Legion team lit up the Timken Sports Complex on Wednesday night, baffling the Spartanburg pitching staff and cruising to a 13-0 victory in its season opener.
Union jumped out to an early lead and rode the pitching of righthander Dylan Rogers en route to the shutout.
Rogers threw a total of 106 pitches and racked up 11 strikeouts with two walks with four hits and while he handled the Spartanburg offense, Post 22 used hot bats to wear down the defense.
Devontae Glenn singled and was batted in by Bubba Means for a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
After a scoreless second, Post 22 really got the clubs going, scattering seven hits for nine runs.
Glenn led off the inning with an infield single and Jake Walton found a home in deep center field, where he planted two hits in the inning. Means reached first with a walk and Glenn scored the first run of the inning off of throwing errors. A double steal off a passed ball plated Walton and moved Means into scoring position where he didn’t have to wait long before a hit into short-left field courtesy of Rogers brought him the rest of the way. Recus Hughes drew a walk and Charles Johnson singled between short stop and third to score a pair of runs. Will Palmer smacked an RBI single and Juwuan Rice collected his second hit of the game with an infield single. Glenn was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Walton who hit a rope into center for a two-RBI double to round out the third inning rally.
Spartanburg received a couple of base runners in the fourth with a walk and a base hit, but Rogers held the Post 28 team off, sending number three back to the dugout on strikes.
Union’s bats were quieted in the bottom of the inning and Spartanburg went three up, three down in the top of the fifth.
Post 22 added three more runs in fifth inning. Palmer singled to start the inning off and Rice followed with a walk. Walton burnt the center fielder with another deep ball for an RBI double and Means hit a shot to right-center that plated the final two Union runs.
Coach Tommy Ford said the team’s performance was much improved from the previous night’s 10-5 loss to Greer. He attributed the sluggish start to a lack of practice time and said that the Union team that showed up on Wednesday is the team he’d expected to see, one that is an obvious threat to win State.
“I’m proud of how they played tonight,” said Ford. “We’ve got some solid pitching and a team full of hitters. We’ve definitely got a chance to contend with this team.”
Next up for Post 22 is Spartanburg on Monday at 7 p.m. on the road.