The Union Wildcats did all of their offensive damage in the first four innings and went on to defeat the Rolla High School baseball team 8-4 in non-conference action in the season-opener for both teams Friday on the First Community National Bank Field at the Bray Sports Complex.
Union led 5-0 after the top of the second inning, plating two runs in the top of the first frame and three more in the second.
The Bulldogs struck against Union senior right-hander Jordan Weaks for three runs in the bottom of the second. Senior Chance Callahan opened by reaching base on an error followed by a walk from junior Bryan Peach. Sophomore Jake Stephens then attempted to bunt and reached base on an error to load the bases. Sophomore Andy Satulla stroked a two-run single and senior Zach Lewis followed with an RBI single up the middle to make it 5-3. RHS had a couple of chances to tack on more with less than two outs in the inning but couldn't get it done.
Those missed chances came back to haunt in the fourth frame, when Union regained the five-run advantage by scoring three more, making it 8-3.
Rolla tallied one run in its half of the fourth, as Stephens reached base on an error and Satulla and senior Michael Pickrell walked to load the bases. A RBI groundout by junior Seth Stevens scored Stephens.
Union outhit the Bulldogs 12-4. Lewis had two hits while Satulla had a hit, walked twice and was hit by a pitch.
Lewis was the starting and losing pitcher for Rolla. He was replaced on the mound by junior Tristin Brown and later sophomore Mason Pickrell in the Wildcats' big fourth inning.
"They took advantage of opportunities they had," said RHS first-year head coach Karl Odenwald of Union. "They did a nice job being aggressive and hitting that first pitch and took advantage of our miscues in the field. We've got a lot of guys in new spots. We're adjusting there, on top of not being able to be outside and see live pitching.
"We put ourselves in situations to win; to score runs. But we had too many strikeouts looking and didn't execute with two outs. Mason Pickrell coming in and getting us out of the fourth inning and keeping us in the game was big."
Rolla won the junior varsity game 5-2. Junior Tyler Curtis was the winning pitcher for the Bulldog jayvee squad.
The Bulldogs were scheduled to host Hermann at 4:30 p.m. today at the FCNB Field in the opening round of the Four Rivers Tournament. RHS is to play at St. James in the tournament on Tuesday, starting at 4:30 p.m.
The line score
Union 230 300 0-8 12
Rolla 030 100 0-4 4
Rolla: Lewis, Brown (4), Mason Pickrell (4) and Michael Pickrell. Union: Weaks, Dehn (6) and Schumaker. WP: Weaks. LP: Lewis.