WOODRUFF — Union County allowed Newberry to hang around for eight innings before closing out the pre-season tournament with a 4-3 win in Woodruff on Friday night.
Mark Jeter walked and scored off a fielder’s choice in the first inning to give Union County a 1-0 lead and Newberry evened things up with an RBI single in the second.
The game was deadlocked for three innings before the Jackets broke the 1-1 tie in the fifth. Juwuan Rice led off the inning with a single between short and third. Kennedy Beatty singled to left field and Will Palmer was issued a walk to load the bases for Aaron Bailey who singled to left field. Rice scored off the hit and Beatty touched home off a throwing error on the play for the 3-1 Union County lead.
Newberry’s Devin Harmon belted out a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the sixth to close the margin to a single run but Union County’s starting pitcher Recus Hughes went back to work from the mound and escaped the inning three batters later. Palmer, the short stop, scooped up a grounder for the first out and Hughes issued back to back strikeouts to send Union County to the dugout with its lead still intact, 3-2.
Newberry held the Jackets to three up, three down in the seventh and took advantage of a couple of fielding errors in the bottom of the inning to tie the game and force an extra inning.
Rice reached on a walk in the eighth and stole his way around the bags for Union County’s final run.
Quay Cooper took Hughes’ spot on the hill in the bottom of the inning and closed it out for the Jackets. The Bulldogs had a runner in scoring position with two outs when Cooper finished it at the plate with a strikeout.
Rice led Union County’s offensive attack with two hits, two runs scored and an RBI.
Hughes picked up the win pitching seven innings with 10 strikeouts and two walks while allowing eight hits. Cooper recorded the save with two strikeouts.
Sports Editor Tiffany Grady-Hudgins can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by cell at (864) 251-4330.