Playing in a close game was nothing new for St. Clair and Union during their Four Rivers Conference baseball meeting Thursday afternoon.
The Bulldogs were able to come out ahead as they edged the Wildcats at St. Clair High School, 4-3.
St. Clair (4-13, 3-3) snapped an eight-game losing streak with the win.
In those eight consecutive losses, six of them were by three runs or less.
“It feels very good to get back in the win column. We have struggled lately with closing out games, but we were able to get the job done against Union,” said St. Clair Head Coach Rob Hauck. “We knew coming in that it would be a close game and that both teams’ records did not show how good they could be.”
Union (3-7, 2-3) has been in the same boat.
The Wildcats have suffered six straight losses, five of which have been by three runs or less.
“We’ve struggled at the plate all year, but our boys keep battling and we’ve been in every game these last three weeks,” said Union Head Coach Ryan Bailey. “It gets hard to keep losing one-run games to good teams or going into the last inning tied, only to see the win go to the other team, but that’s the way it goes in baseball sometimes. Hopefully we can find a little hot streak here next week and head into districts on a positive note.”
Jake Oermann pitched all seven innings for St. Clair to earn the win. He allowed three runs, one earned, on four hits with one hit batter, four walks and four strikeouts.
“Jake threw a really good ballgame,” Hauck said. “If we would have made a couple of more plays for him, the score would not have been as close.”
Trey Fink tossed all six innings for the Wildcats. He allowed four runs on seven hits with two walks, two hit batters and 11 strikeouts.
“Trey pitched a good game. It takes good stuff to get 11 strikeouts in a game. He got his first extended outing of the season and did a good job,” Bailey said. “A couple of pitches he left in the zone when he was ahead in the count and those doubles hurt him. Hopefully he’ll learn from it and execute in those situations next time.”
Ben Feddersen was 2-3 at the plate for the Bulldogs with one RBI and one run.
Greg Marler also was 2-3 with one RBI.
“Offensively, we had one of our better performances lately with several guys having big hits,” Hauck said. “Ben and Greg got back into rhythm with two hits apiece.”
Austin Gotway was 2-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and one run for the Bulldogs.
Skyler Hutchison was 1-2 with a double and a walk.
“Austin Gotway had a nice day at the plate. Skyler gave us a big boost in the second inning with a double as he entered the game,” Hauck said. “Our lineup was finally able to get some hits with guys in scoring position. We were able to get some runs early thanks to some big hits.”
Fink belted a home run for Union, finishing with one hit, one RBI and one run.
Ashton Dehn collected one hit (double), one walk and one RBI.
Dustin Griffin had one hit (double) and one run.
Brendan Burgess registered one hit.
Nick Eads walked and was hit by a pitch. Emmett Parker and Keaton Groff both had a walk. Aldwin Fleer scored a run.