By: Nick Kieser
COLUMBIA, TENNESSEE — The Volunteer State Community College Pioneers baseball program has fought to stay in the NJCAA Region Seven Postseason Tournament after defeating Southwest Tennessee Community College 9-5 in nine innings of play.
The game was do or die as the loser would go home and the winner would go on to play in the tournament. Walters State Community College is the opponent and the Pioneers have active bats waiting for the #4 ranked NJCAA baseball team.
Scoring against Southwest took three innings for the Pioneers and Will Dunlap led off the rally batting a base hit. Zeke Lecomte singled as well to give Southwest's starting pitcher Will Nash some difficulty early. Jordan Jackson hit a line drive to right field for a double scoring both of his teammates to take the early 2-0 lead.
"I'm ready, I am ready to beat them and be firing on all cylinders swinging the best that we can against that team [Walters State]. We're going to need timely hits to beat them," said Lane Harris about the next game and the gameplan.
Chris Barnes drove in Jackson for the 3-0 lead with two outs and the next at-bat Maddox Vondohlen singled to score Barnes for the 4-0 lead. The Pioneers would go on to score two more runs off of Judd Sparks' pop-up single that resulted in a Southwest error.
After totaling six runs in the third inning, the Pioneers settled down for the next few innings. Corey Wilson was the starting pitcher and made it to the sixth inning totaling five innings pitched and four strikeouts. Dalton Heath, Preston Burnett, and Will Duffee came in relief to get the eventual victory.
Harris tallied two RBIs in the bottom of the seventh inning scoring Jackson and Lofton Cotton. Lecomte would score Cole Flatt to end the scoring for the Pioneers and Southwest rallied for four runs before dropping the game 9-5 to be eliminated by Vol State.
"Corey pitched great this game like he has all year and I think we still have plenty of volumes left in the bullpen so we should be good. I am just excited and ready to win another ball game," said Harris after defeating Southwest TN.
The Pioneers will play Walters State starting at 1 p.m. today (May 6). The live stream can be found by going to @VSCCPioneersBSB on Twitter for all the news an analysis surrounding the program.