Photo by Union Athletics

Bulldogs defeat St. Xavier, falls to Georgia Gwinnett in NAIA opening round

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Ty Holmstrom hit two bombs to start out the NAIA Baseball National Championship opening round as No. 5 seed Union College defeated the No. 4 seed St. Xavier University (Ill.) 13-12 in the first game of the Lawrenceville Bracket before falling 5-2 to the No. 1 seed Georgia Gwinnett College on Monday.

Along with Holmstrom’s home runs, Luke Reinert returned back from an injury in style hitting a solo homer of his own for his first at-bat back since April 22.

With the split, Union moves to 28-24 on the year, while St. Xavier falls to 34-16 and Georgia Gwinnett improves to 44-11 overall.

GAME ONE – UNION 13, ST. XAVIER 12

Nick Shumaker, Daniel Neal, and Holmstrom each started their day with back-to-back-to-back doubles giving Union a 2-1 lead after the first inning. In the top of the second, Reinert started the inning with a solo shot followed by a run scored on a bases-loaded walk and a two-RBI single from Shumaker to make it 6-5.

Dallas Green singled in a run to make it 7-5, but the Cougars tied the game in the bottom of the third. Neal singled putting him in position for Holmstrom to hit his first homer of the day as the Bulldogs reclaimed a 9-7 lead. Runners continued to move around the bases in the top of the seventh inning as Bulldogs scored an additional two runs to make it 11-9.

In the bottom of the seventh, St. Xavier rallied and grabbed a 12-11 advantage, but the Bulldogs didn’t lie down as they scored on two bases-loaded walks to close out the first game with a 13-12 win.

GAME TWO – GEORGIA GWINNETT 5, UNION 2

It wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth when the silence was broken as the Grizzlies scored off a two-run home run to take a 2-0 lead. The Bulldogs continued to try and work through the grit but allowed three more runs to come across in the bottom of the seventh.

Holmstrom closed down the night on a positive note, hitting his second homer of the day on an 0-2 count to not allow the Grizzlies the shutout. However, Union tried to battle back in the top of ninth with the go-ahead run at the plate but couldn’t manage to finish it out, falling 5-2 to the host school.

BULLDOG NOTES:

Holmstrom hit his 14th home run of the year, going 4-for-10 on the day with five RBIs, a double and two runs scored.

Shumaker currently has a 17-game hitting streak after going 4-for-9 with a double and two runs.

Joe Gaines is currently leading the NAIA Opening Round Lawrenceville bracket in stolen bases with two on the day.

On the mound in game one, Logan Mallory earned the win pitching 1 1/3 innings, while Dolan Kunkel collected the save with the 1 1/3 innings with two strikeouts.

On the day, Grant Lohmeier and AJ Villa each struck out four batters.