Last week’s big win over Franklin North would have been meaningless if the Warren County Middle School baseball team followed it up with a loss to Tullahoma. The Pioneers made sure they took care of business Saturday.
Warren County clinched at least a share of the Central Tennessee Conference title, along with the No. 1 seed in the CTC tournament, with a 2-0 win over Tullahoma.
The Pioneers, who extended their winning streak to 10 games with Saturday’s victory, knew the stakes before the game started.
After breaking a tie at the top with Franklin North last Thursday with a 9-7 win, a victory over Tullahoma would mean the Pioneers could do no worse than tie for first place in the CTC regular-season standings and would earn the coveted top spot in the conference tournament that comes with an opening-round bye.
Warren County went to work Saturday making sure it secured the bye. The Pioneers did, but lost a key cog in the process.
Catcher and clean-up hitter Trayton Rackley suffered a wrist injury in the fourth inning of Saturday’s game, one that pitcher Cameron Shaw dominated to help his team win.
Rackley collided with third baseman A.D. Majors when both dove for a fly ball in the infield. Majors made an amazing catch, but the Pioneers couldn’t celebrate as Rackley was shaken up on the play.
Following the game, Rackley found out his wrist was injured and he could miss up to three weeks. With the CTC tournament slated to start the first week of May, Pioneer coach David Martin is hopeful his catcher will be back.
For one game, the Pioneers were able to survive without his presence. Shaw was a big reason why.
The eighth-grade hurler went the distance as he threw a complete-game shutout against Tullahoma. Shaw allowed only three hits in the victory.
Shaw also provided the team’s early offense as his RBI groundout in the second inning gave the team a 1-0 lead.
Rackley made it 2-0 in the third with an RBI double before leaving the game shortly after with the wrist injury.
Shaw was able to hit the mark with Nicholas Williamson behind the plate in the final three innings. Shaw’s seventh strikeout ended the game as Warren County improved to 11-1.
Rackley, Colby Elkins, Ridge Brewer, Peyton Norris and Krojhn Calbert each finished with one hit for the Pioneers.
Calbert scored the team’s first run in the second, while Majors was the second run when he came around after drawing a walk in the third.
The Pioneers will make the trip to Franklin North Friday for a rematch of last week’s tie-breaking CTC game.
The game won’t count toward the CTC standings, but the Pioneers will to looking to keep their winning streak intact. The first pitch is set for 5 p.m.