By: Nick Kieser
HARRIMAN, TENNESSEE — The Vol State Pioneers (4-8) split the first conference series at Roane State Community College (5-5) on Saturday, March 2. Game one the Pioneers won 2-0 by scoring two in the top of the first inning. Game two Roane won 3-0 to shutout the Pioneers to split the series.
Zeke Lecomte hit Lofton Cotton in to get the first run in. Lecomte then scored on a passed ball to give the 2-0 edge to the Pioneers. With the win starting pitcher, Corey Wilson gets his second win of the year and his first conference win overall. Preston Burnett came in for the final out of the game to take the pressure off of Wilson to end the game for his second save of the year.
"We didn't get the hits we wanted these games for sure. Anytime you come out and get two runs in two games it's not a successful day at the plate. We had zero timely hits with runners on base and in scoring position. That's something as a team we need to get better at up and down the lineup," said Lecomte following the game.
Wilson pitched 6 2/3 innings worth of baseball to get six strikeouts for his second win of the season. Wilson now has 18 strikeouts in his first season in collegiate baseball so far with the Pioneer baseball program.
"It went exactly as we planned pitching wise and went as deep as I could. I couldn't get that last out but Preston came in behind me and had a good save. We jumped on them early with two runs in the first inning. Even though we split this puts us in a good position to capitalize on," said Wilson following his near complete start.
Game two in the shut-out loss Brett Wilkins pitched three innings before Jack Sensing came in to relieve and close the game out. Roane came out early to score two runs in the bottom of the second inning and scored their final run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
"Coach Hunt said that we need to be more consistent. We won the first game two to nothing but we struggled to execute in the second game which is a big factor in getting the sweep. We gave them the second game," said Wilson.
"I think that both guys who started deserved a win. Corey and Brett did an excellent job and Corey almost had the complete game there. Honestly, I don't think Brett even gave up an earned run that game. We need to focus a little more and as the season goes on hitting can only go up. It'll keep getting better and better and I think we'll be a completely different team by the time the conference tournament rolls around," said Lecomte.
Today's matchup against Schoolcraft College has been canceled but the doubleheader for Tuesday is still awaiting an announcement on if it is postponed or canceled. However, the next conference series is at home against Columbia State Community College starting this Friday at 2 p.m.
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