‘Neers Hand Senators first Conference Loss

Catcher Zeke Lecomte fist bumps Third Baseman Maddox Vondohlen after a play thrown to home to tag a Walters State player out.
Catcher Zeke Lecomte fist bumps Third Baseman Maddox Vondohlen after a play thrown to home to tag a Walters State player out.

By: Nick Kieser

GALLATIN, TENNESSEE — The Volunteer State Community College Pioneers lost two of three at Walters State Community College, however, the one win for the Pioneers just so happens to be the first conference loss for the #2 ranked JUCO team in the Senators.

Absorbing the nine-inning 6-1 loss the Pioneers came back the next day and shook the Senators with a 7-5 win. Going 1-2 on the road trip to Morristown, Tennessee the Pioneers now sit in ninth place right behind the 7-11 Roane State Raiders.

"It's good to have a win against a top quality team again and this will give us some confidence for the rest of the season. Right now it feels good to get a win against anybody," said Head Coach Ryan Hunt.

Winning is nice indeed but the series win fell one win shy and the Senators walked away winning game three 10-5. Now back in Gallatin, the Pioneers will host Southwest Tennesse Community College in the next conference series this weekend.

"Overall going one and two that wasn't the goal but I think a lot of good things came from it. We've been sluggish offensively to start the year off. Against a really good opponent and really good arms, our bats came alive and run production picked up," said Matt Miller following the series at Walters State.

Game one Chase Haley started his third game of the season and pitched for a grand total of six strikeouts, two hits, three runs, and five innings. The team high in strikeouts is now tied at 30 with Corey Wilson and Haley owning that title.

"If we can give the run support to our pitching we can definitely be one of the top teams in the conference. We have played close games when we weren't at our best and so when we are at our best then there's no one we can't beat," said Starting Catcher Zeke Lecomte about winning and how to build off of it.

Games two and three were played on Saturday and game two Lecomte had a surprise up his sleeve against Walters State. The second pitch of the game Lecomte cranked his first home run of the season over the fence to grab the early 1-0 lead to start the game.

"He's got the ability to do it. He's not a home run hitter but he has got some pop in his bat. It got us going for sure and it set the tone for the day. It was just good to get that conference win despite who we got it against," said Coach Hunt about Lecomte home run.

Corey Wilson started the win against Walters State but pitched four innings for a total of seven hits, three runs, and two strikeouts. Preston Burnett came in the game to keep the Pioneers ahead of Walters and pulled out his first win of the season totaling three hits, two runs, and three strikeouts.

Walters State punched back winning game three 10-5 and handing starting pitcher Jack Sensing his third loss of the season. The Senators challenged the Pioneers early with a 4-2 lead through three innings. Three home runs led the Senators the victory winning the series and still sitting first in the conference standings.

"We switched up a lot through the lineup and even pregame to try and get some mojo going for us. It looks like it's working and if that keeps working then we'll do anything we can to win," said Lecomte.

"I don't think anyone is siked to just come into the game and pinch hit. It's tough coming in cold and I'm used to just coming out of the dugout to play. It was a simple approach for me honestly," said Miller on batting 2-2 with an RBI to close the series out.

The Pioneers host the Southwest Saluqis on Friday starting at 2 p.m. and look to add on to the conference win column this weekend. Follow the baseball program on Twitter @VSCCPioneersBSB for all the latest news and updates surrounding the team.