Pioneers Suffer First Playoff Loss

Catcher Noah Brock warming up in the bullpen.
Catcher Noah Brock warming up in the bullpen.

By: Nick Kieser

COLUMBIA, TENNESSEE — The Volunteer State Community College Pioneers have lost to Walters State Community College 9-2 in game two of the NJCAA Region Seven Conference Tournament. Pitchers for the game were Chase Haley for Vol State and Zebby Matthews for Walters State.

Game two against Walters is the fourth matchup in total against each other this year. Early on Walters State took the lead and held the Pioneers scoreless until the top of the ninth inning when Noah Brock came in to pinch hit for Lane Harris.

"We prepared all we could for it and I felt like we came in as confident as we could be. We did expect them to be a tough opponent and sometimes a game just doesn't go your way. Since this isn't a one-run game you can clear this a little more easily and we can't carry this into tomorrow," said catcher Noah Brock.

Losing this game the Pioneers will face the tournament host Columbia State Community College. Play in the regular season the Chargers swept the Pioneers and last postseason the Chargers lost a game 4-2 to the Pioneers. A dicey matchup is what to call this one and moving on fast from the loss is what the Pioneers have to do.

"As a team, we need to be able to say that we can hit anything that they throw at us. It felt nice but we have to come in and get after it because if we don't I don't feel like going back to the house yet. I am confident in our pitcher and starting nine to get the job done," said Brock on the gameplan and his play in the top of the ninth.

Chase Haley threw for three and a half innings for one strikeout and allowing seven hits. Seven pitchers were used by the Pioneers and Walters used five after their starter threw for five innings.

"We did use a lot of pitchers today. Tomorrow is all hands on deck and another must-win game for us like it was Sunday. We need to flush what happened and not dwell on it. As a team we need the same mentality we did in game one," said Haley after the game.

Jack Sensing is the next man up to start and the Pioneers look to rally as the elimination begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 7. Follow @VSCCPioneersBSB for all the news and analysis surrounding the program this tournament.