The Flames, ranked third in the NAIA national preseason poll, improved to 11-2 overall and will now prepare for a key third-game SSAC series with Auburn-Montgomery on Friday and Saturday at Olympic Field.
"We didn't play our best, but we played well enough to get the win," said coach Mark Brew. "Overall, our bullpen was solid and we had some good at bats early in the game. However, Union's bullpen shut us down and we couldn't get a big hit to shake them late. It's a good road win against a good opponent, but we need to play much better against AUM this weekend."
Lee warmed up early against Union starting pitcher Nelson Price. After a scoreless first inning, Corey Davis walked and Karsten Strieby put the Flames on the board with a two-run shot over the center-field wall. It was Strieby's first homer of the campaign and he is now hitting .459 on the year.
The margin grew to 4-1 in the third. Mark Silva singled, took second on an error and tallied on an RBI single by Davis, who finished the afternoon with two hits, two runs scored and two runs batted in.
Lee's final tally came in the fourth. Danny Canela walked and took second and third on consecutive wild pitches by Justin King, who had just taken the mound for the Bulldogs. Davis knocked in his second run with a solid single. Strieby had three hits to pace the Flames. Silva, Davis and Jordan Stewart, who had Lee's only two-base hit, each had a pair of hits.
Union scored single runs in the second, third and fourth innings and mounted its most serious challenge in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Vance Sullivan began the inning with his second hit of the day. Mike Moore, who hurled one inning in relief, was replaced by Andy Hillis, who walked the first batter he faced.
The Bulldogs gambled and started the runners from first and second, and Gabby Juarbe drove a liner into right-center. Davis got to the liner in plenty of time and fired back to second to nail Sullivan for a double play that ended the rally and the game for the 4-4 Bulldogs.
Keegan Yuhl got the start for the Flames and worked 4 1/3 innings. Jeremy Stawychny came on for 2 2/3 innings and was credited with his first pitching win. Moore was credited with one full inning and Hillis got his second save. Yuhl allowed four hits, two earned runs, walked two and fanned four. Stawychny gave up two hits, one earned run, walked one and struck out two. Moore fanned one and did not give up a hit. Price was the starter and loser for Union.
The Flames totaled nine hits and left 11 runners on the base paths. Union stranded eight.