By: Nick Kieser
GALLATIN, TENNESSEE — Vol State hosted Parkland College last evening (Feb. 25) and split the doubleheader. The Pioneers came back in game one to win 4-3 and then Parkland ended the next game in five innings shutting out the Pioneers 12-0.
Splitting the series results in the first home win for the Pioneers and the first two home runs were hit at Garrett Field this season. Jordan Jackson hit a solo bomb in the first game and then Judd Sparks hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth for the game-winning runs to be scored after being down 3-2.
"Hitting a home run is probably one of the greatest feelings in sports besides a hole in one. We played good the first game but the second game was out of hand. Parkland was a solid team too so I'm proud of how we played today," said Jordan Jackson.
Winning game one snapped a four-game losing streak and Brett Wilkins and Corey Wilson led the Pioneers to victory. Wilson picked up his first win as a Pioneer and Preston Burnett got the save coming in to close the game. Wilson's record is now 1-2 on the season with 12 strikeouts.
"I feel like we executed very well in the first game. Pitching did their job and the hitters did their job. Big moments like Judd had with the big hit gave us the go-ahead to win the game," said Wilson in the postgame interview.
"We were down 3-2 and there was a runner in third and I was honestly just trying to hit to the second baseman so we could score a run. It ended up going over the fence so I don't know how it happened but it just did," said Judd Sparks about his first home run on the season and as a Pioneer.
Totaling now five home runs a team the Pioneers head to Roane State (4-4) for the first conference games of the season. The Raiders are in the midst of a four-game winning streak and the Pioneers threaten to break the conference opponents streak.
"I feel like the next few days we will have some talks with the rest of the pitchers. If we do have an issue with our pitches we need to demand full speed so that we keep battling and give it all we got. If we have innings like that in conference play it's going to hurt us," said Wilson about prepping for Roane the second game loss.
"I think that we are prepared. Our record is three and seven but we have faced some really good arms this season. Six of our games have been against ranked teams. We'll be ready for Roane and I heard that they have a few good arms but it's not going to be anything we haven't seen already this season," said Sparks about headed off to Roane for the first conference series.
The Pioneers begin the conference portion of the season play against Roane State at 1 pm CT on Friday. For live updates on the game follow the Twitter account @VSCCPioneersBSB.