By: Nick Kieser
GALLATIN, TENNESSEE — The Volunteer State Community College baseball program split the series of games in Florida and while doing so defeated a top 10 team in JUCO baseball.
Chattahoochee Valley Community College (4-3) traveled to Pensacola, Florida to play the Pioneers (2-2) on neutral grounds for two games. In game one on Feb. 9, Chattahoochee won 4-1 after the Pioneers played a previous game against the host team Pensacola State.
The next day on Feb. 10 the Pioneers came out swinging putting six hits up in the first three innings to chase away Chattahoochee's starting pitcher Rhett Fetner. By the fifth inning, the Pioneers were up 5-0 and had a total of nine hits. At the conclusion of the game, the Pioneers had 13 hits to win the game 7-1 and knock off #8 Chattahoochee.
"It was a hitting a parade. Everyone contributed that game and it is really good to see everybody coming along this weekend with the bats," said Zeke Lecomte who batted 3-4 the last game against Chattahoochee Valley.
Jack Sensing was a sensation the second game pitching eight strikeouts and allowing four hits and the lone run that Chattahoochee scored in the game. Colin Kriminger closed the game after Sensing was pulled in the sixth inning. Kriminger pitched two strikeouts and allowed two batters on base.
"His fastball was working extremely well that game and it was moving quite a bit. His breaking stuff was working and we were able to get ahead in the count with a fastball. He almost had the complete game shut-out but for his first start of the season that was really good and I am happy for him," said Lecomte.
"It feels really good it's given me a lot of good thoughts for how we're going to do this season. I feel confident in all that we have this season. My slider and my change-up which are my two best off-speed pitches and they were working really well and my fastball had good movement. I was there mentally and so was the rest of the team that game," said Jack Sensing about his first pitching performance.
Sensing noted after his previous comment that he is trying to take a step up to be a leader on this team for the season and feels that he is going to have a great year ahead of himself. Last year Sensing had 20 strikeouts and is on pace to surpass that with more games like the one he just pitched.
"I was really pleased with the way we came out and competed. Hopefully, we can keep this kind of mentality the rest of the year and see what happens. The big thing I am looking for is the same kind of mentality we had Sunday and have that kind of attitude no matter who we play," said head coach Ryan Hunt following the win.
The Pioneers now have an eight-game homestand with four games against Moraine Valley and four more against Parkland College. Right after the series of home games conference play begins at Roane State March 1-2.
"As far as the lineup goes we will still switch it around and figure out what the set lineup will look like as conference play starts. Still looking for some guys to have better weekends. Some guys were pressing and maybe trying to do too much. We just need to keep that same kind of grit we had on Sunday," said Hunt.
The home opener is Friday at 2 p.m. against Moraine Valley and the Pioneers look to get home field advantage rolling along. Follow the team on Twitter @VSCCPioneersBSB for more news and live updates as the season progresses.