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Desperately seeking runs
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The Warren County High School baseball team will need to spend its week off from District 6-AAA play searching for its offense. Without runs, the Pioneers won’t be making a repeat run in postseason play.
Warren County was shut out for the second straight game Friday night as Franklin County downed the Pioneers 5-0. The loss came on the heels of a 13-0 blowout the Pioneers suffered against Cookeville last Tuesday.
Warren County (10-10) had been pretty potent on offense all season, averaging five runs a game and having scored in double figures three times. Before Tuesday’s shutout loss to Cookeville, the Pioneers were coming off an outing Monday where Chayse Frye and Alex Hillis each hit home runs in a 10-7 loss to the Cavaliers.
Since Monday’s game, which saw the Pioneers take a 7-5 lead in the fourth, Warren County hasn’t scored in 15 innings and their opponents hold a 23-0 advantage on the scoreboard.
Against the Rebels Friday, the Pioneers never found an answer at the plate against Franklin County starter Nathan Hammer. Hammer struck out 11 Pioneers and allowed only three hits to pick up the victory.
Franklin County jumped out to a lead at home in the second inning as Dewayne Parsons hit a two-out, two-run double off Pioneer starter Ryan Jennings. The Rebels made it 5-0 in the third as Jennings surrendered four straight hits to start the inning.
A run-scoring triple, followed by a sacrifice fly, capped the rally as the Rebels gave Hammer more than enough run support against the Pioneers.
Warren County only had one runner reach third base and none made it to the plate. Kyle Rutledge came the closest when he doubled in the fifth inning and was sacrificed to third by Mitchell Steiner, but Daulton Foster struck out to end the inning.
Foster was the first Pioneer to get a hit against Hammer as he singled in the third inning. Foster didn’t stay on base long. Logan Underhill, who finished with the team’s third hit, drilled a ball to shortstop on the next pitch that was snagged in the air and tossed to first as Foster had attempted to steal.
Hammer ended the game with back-to-back strikeouts of Rutledge and Jon Reed.
Jennings took the loss for the Pioneers as the junior pitched six innings and gave up five runs on nine hits. The loss dropped Jennings to 3-1 this season.
Warren County was back in action Saturday with a home game against the Upperman Bees, but results were unavailable at press time. The Pioneers won’t play another district game until April 22, but will play host to two games this week.
Warren County welcomes Smith County Tuesday and will look for revenge against Franklin County Friday. Tuesday’s game is set to start at 4:30 p.m. while Friday’s contest is set for 5 p.m.