|Bulldogs win series opener|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
May 10, 2004 -- NEW DIANA -- An early lead for Union Hill led to an unfavorable outcome for North Hopkins.
Union Hill put up four runs in the first inning, two of them courtesy of a two-run homer by Brady Jones, on their way to a 14-2 victory in the second game of the Class 1A playoffs on Saturday.
The victory, coupled with Union Hill's 8-0 win on Friday in the season opener, allows the Bulldogs to advance to play the winner between Sam Rayburn and Bland, who play Tuesday. North Hopkins' season ends at 15-10.
Coming off the shutout loss to Union Hill on Friday, the Panthers wanted to strike early, but it was the Bulldogs who took the initial lead.
Shawn Hayes, the sophomore righthander who threw a one-hitter on Friday, led off the game with a double to left center. Then, with one out, Jones hit a two-run homer that cleared the fence by just a couple of feet.
That opened up a four-run inning that prompted NH coach Steve Drummond to bring in senior lefthander Roy Warren, who started Friday's series opener, in the first inning.
The Panthers, though, couldn't stop a Union Hill team that was solid from top to bottom.
North Hopkins got three hits off of Union Hill starter Mitch Clemens, one each from Sean Wilson, Heath Abbott and Willie Jo Braun. Their runs came in the fourth inning when Jake Cockrum walked, stole second and scored on an error.
"I really couldn't tell much drop off from their No. 1 starter to their No. 2," said Coach Drummond. "I think Union Hill and Maud will be playing each other in the regional final, and they both came out of the same district.
"They are a pretty dominant ball club."