UNION CITY – Having played less than five innings at home this summer due to weather-related issues, Union City High School head baseball coach Ludy Griggs was glad to host his UC Summer Slam last week.
Even if it meant extra time getting his rain-soaked field in playing shape.
“We spent hours out there trying to get the outfield mowed and all the water off. There were still some spots where dark water is still standing from all the rain during the spring which still had not soaked in,” said Griggs.
Mother Nature finally turned the other cheek with three days of 80-plus-degree, rain-free weather and the Tigers responded with a trio of wins to improve to 11-4 on the summer.
“We swung the bats pretty well. We also had quality pitching from everyone.
“We have had more unity over the past two weeks and the boys are having fun as well as playing quality baseball,” said Griggs.
The Tigers junior varsity team opened up the classic with a 14-2 win over Verden’s varsity squad. Incoming freshman Tyler Norton threw four innings for the win.
“He’s going to be pitching for us come fall,” said Griggs.
Union City’s varsity team took the field for two games the following day against Ninnekah and Casady.
The series with the Owls has become a rivalry of sorts for the Tigers as the schools usually play in both the fall and spring school seasons. Union City kept up its recent success against Ninnekah with a 10-0 shutout.
Five of those runs crossed in the bottom of the first on four walks and a hit batsman. Josh Morrison added a double to score a run and Shane McNeil added an RBI-single.
Union City scored three more runs in the second inning off an RBI-single by Bryson Skinner, a bases-load walk by Morrison and a passed ball allowing Bryson Hays to plate from third. Tyler Ross added a base hit.
The Tigers then completed the run-rule with two scores in the third inning.
Reed Miller got the shutout win on the mound, striking out Ninnekah’s last batter with runners at second and third, allowing just two hits.
Union City downed Casady 12-4 with the offense getting a spark from a Jordan Griswald home run.
“Bryson (Hays) was hit five times in three games and Blake Ross swung it well. Josh (Morrison) had solid hits throughout the three games,” said Griggs.