The Warren County Middle School baseball team survived a scare Tuesday night in the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament against the Coffee County Red Raiders, winning 3-2 in walk-off fashion.
The Pioneers didn’t do much at the plate, but found a way to win in the bottom of the seventh inning, advancing to the semifinals.
C.J. Taylor and Wyatt Wilson led the team at the plate with clutch RBIs in the bottom of the seventh. Jack Keele earned the win on the mound, going seven strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits, and striking out 11.
WCMS coach Chad Young said, “Tonight was 100 percent team effort from everybody. I had a lot of feedback coming from all of the coaches. I think it was the best team effort I’ve seen this year, by far. We have to stay hungry and focus on the next game.”
The Red Raiders struck first in the top of the second, scoring on a passed ball by the Pioneers, 1-0. The Pioneers answered the run with one of their own in the bottom of the inning thanks to a Carter Mansfield RBI single, 1-1.
The score remained tied until the top of the sixth.
The Red Raider regained the lead in the top of the inning courtesy of an RBI double, 2-1. The Pioneers needed to answer in the bottom of the inning but struck out in order, leaving them one more inning to tie or win the game or risk going to the loser’s bracket.
After Keele sat down the side in order in the top of the seventh, the Pioneers needed two scores to win the game and they got it.
Taylor came up with two runners on base and placed a perfect bunt down the first-base line to score Will Rivers from third, 2-2. After the game was delayed momentarily by the Coffee County coaches arguing the call, Wyatt Wilson came up two batters later and hit the game-winner off a bunt, scoring John Garrett to win the game for the Pioneers, 3-2.
Wyatt Wilson had this to say about laying down the game-winning bunt. “Coach Young told me to lay down the bunt and I just had to put the bat on the ball. Survive and advance, that’s all that matters.”
The Pioneers will be back in action today at WCMS against the Tullahoma Wildcats, playing for a chance to be in the championship game Saturday. First pitch is set for 4:45 p.m.