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Elkins slugs Pioneers past Eagles
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The Warren County Pioneers final games of the regular season ended on a high note Monday as the Pioneers went on the road to defeat the Golden Eagles of Rhea County in both games of a doubleheader.
The two wins give the Pioneers a second-place finish in the district with a 7-3 record and a 14-14 overall record heading into postseason play.
In the first game of the afternoon, the Pioneers were in control and cruised to an easy 11-2 victory.
Pioneer Colby Elkins went 2-for-3 at the plate. Elkins blasted a solo shot in the fourth inning and smashed a grand slam in the top of the fifth that gave him a total of five RBIs.
Pioneer pitcher Will Sweeton went the distance on the hill for Warren County. Sweeton allowed two runs off eight hits and struck out two in his seven innings of work.
Warren County got started in the second when Isaac Golden drew a walk from Rhea County that was followed by Jett Urtubees, who got hit by a pitch, and Warren County put two on in the second with no outs. Elkins flied out and Golden tagged-up and advanced to third. An error by the catcher scored Golden for an early 1-0 lead.
Rhea County got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 1-1.
Then the Pioneers reclaimed the lead. Urtubees was hit by a pitch and took first base. With Elkins at work against the pitcher Urtubees was picked-off at first. Elkins then blasted a solo home run to left field for a 2-1 lead. A single and a double were also hit in the inning but the runners were left stranded.
Rhea County knotted the game in the bottom of the fourth at 2-2.
The Pioneers opened up the offense in the top of the fifth when power hitter Chayse Frye drew a walk to lead-off the inning. Golden singled to right field after an attempt to pick off Frye at first failed. Frye advanced to third base for the Pioneers on the play. Runners at the corners and Urtubees was in the box and worked the pitcher to a full count.
Numerous attempts to hold Golden at first base failed when Urtubees drew a walk to load the bases. Elkins, again up at the plate, jumped on the first pitch and went yard for a Warren County Pioneer grand slam and the score was 6-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Golden Eagles went down in order and the score remained 6-2.
With momentum on its side Warren County went right back to work. Jordan Tidwell hit a lead-off single and on a Yasunaga sacrifice bunt Tidwell made it all the way around to third. Frye singled and Tidwell scored to go up 7-2. Lucas Rogers reached on an error and Frye scooted around to third base off the throw. Golden attempted to sacrifice and reached on another Golden Eagle error and Frye scored to go ahead 8-2. Rogers advanced to third base and Golden held up at first. After hitting two homeruns, Elkins drew an intentional walk from the Rhea County pitcher. Tristan Reish stepped in with bases loaded and crushed a line-drive for a double and Rogers, Golden, and Elkins scored for an 11-2 lead.
The damage was done and Rhea County could never recover
In the second game of Monday afternoon’s doubleheader, Rhea County held it together a little better after the 11-2 dismantling. Rhea County didn’t put together a win but was only defeated in the second game by a final score of 9-7.
Cameron Shaw got the start on the hill for Warren County. Shaw went three innings and allowed seven runs off seven hits, walked two and struck out two. Will Lupo entered in the fourth inning and Lupo closed the door on Rhea County. Lupo allowed no runs off only two hits, with five K’s.
Rogers went 3-for-3 from the plate. He singled in the first and fifth innings. Frye collected two RBIs in the second game.
Warren County had a very dismal start to the second game. Rhea County jumped out to an early 5-0 lead after the first inning and held a 7-2 lead heading into the top of the fifth when the Pioneer bats came to life.
In the third inning Rhea County held a 7-0 lead. That’s when Frye singled to centerfield to lead off the inning. Rogers was hit by a pitch and Golden drew a walk. With bases loaded, Frye scored on a wild pitch and Rogers moved to third and the score was 7-1. A second wild pitch allowed Rogers to score and Warren County cut into the lead 7-2.
The bottom of the fifth inning the Pioneers were still down 7-2 and Roger singled to center field to start the late-game rally. The single was followed by back-to-back outs by Warren County. Elkins reached on an error and Rogers was able to score and the score was 7-3.
Reish drew a walk and Nick Williamson reached on another Rhea County error and scored Rogers to pull within three at 7-4. Tidwell doubled to deep right field and Reish and Williamson ran around the bases and the Pioneers were down 7-6. Yasunaga singled and Tidwell advanced to third base. Frye doubled deep to left field and Tidwell and Yasunaga scored to give Warren County its first lead of the game at 8-7. Roger stepped in and scored Frye for a 9-7 lead and all of this was done with two outs. The inning was over and Rhea County was in shock.
The following two innings the Pioneer defense kept the Golden Eagles grounded and just like that the game was over and Warren County came from behind to take the win in the second game in thrilling fashion by a final score of 9-7.