Cumberland County jumped out to a 1-run, first-inning lead Tuesday as the Pioneers played host to the Jets at Patrick Ramsey Field.
Warren County didn’t waste time in responding, however as the Pioneers took the lead, 2-1, in the bottom of the second, never to relinquish it and winning by 5 runs, 10-5.
“Cumberland is a scrappy team that hung around for a while. We were finally able to break it open in the fifth,” said Warren County High School coach Adam Childs. “Their pitcher did a good job keeping us off balance, but we were able to put some pressure on them and take advantage of their mistakes. I thought we played well defensively.”
After retiring the Jets 1-2-3 in the top of the second, the Pioneers (9-5, 5-2) found their footing as Lucas Rogers hit a ground ball and reached first on an error. A Brooks Helton grounder advanced Rogers to third and a grounder by Isaac Golden allowed Rogers to cross home, 1-1.
With two outs, Wesley Jennings singled on a grounder to second and Nick Williamson reached off an error that advanced Jennings to third. Pioneer Ethan Smith then singled to left field, scoring Jennings before the end of the inning, 2-1.
Warren County, with some heat from the mound by pitcher Brooks Helton, throttled down the Jets who didn’t score again until the seventh.
The Pioneers scored again in the fourth, as lead-off batter Helton hit a hard ball to center field for a single and was replaced by courtesy runner Peyton Norris. A sacrifice bunt by Golden moved Norris to second and a pop fly out by Jennings moved Norris to third. A balk by the Jets gave Warren County another run as Norris scored, 3-1.
The Jets were still cool at the top of the fifth and were retired in four at-bats with two Helton strikeouts.
Leading off the bottom of the fifth, leadoff hitter Ethan Smith singled on a grounder to short then stole second. Taisei Yasunaga singled on a bunt to the pitcher while Smith advanced to third, followed by a bunt and an error by Jets pitcher Tyler Thompson that allowed Smith to score, 4-1, and Yasunaga to advance to second.
Cole Estes singled on a bunt to third and Yasunaga scored on an error by the third baseman, 5-1. Estes advanced to second on the same error. Lucas Rogers singled on a hard shot to left field, scoring Estes, 6-1.
Still in the bottom of the fifth, with just 1 out, the Pioneers were through by no means. Helton is next at-bat and is walked, advancing Rogers to second. Golden then singled on a bunt to the pitcher, advancing Helton and Rogers.
Wesley Jennings hit a hard shot to left field for a single, scoring Rogers, 7-1, and advancing Helton to third and Golden to second. Nick Williamson hit a sacrifice fly to second scoring Helton, 8-1, and moving Jennings to second and Golden to third. Smith then singled on a ground ball scoring Golden, 9-1, before the end of the inning as the Pioneers added 6 to their tally.
Rogers would score the final run for Warren County in the bottom of the sixth, 10-1.
Cumberland County started putting together some offense in the top of the seventh scoring four runs, 10-5, but there wasn’t enough time to pull out of the dive the Jets were caught in the first six innings.
Brooks Helton earned the win for the Pioneers. He threw for six innings, surrendering only 1 run, 4 hits, and notching 10 strikeouts and 3 walks. Colton Smith pitched an inning in relief allowing 1 hit, 4 runs, 0 strikeouts and 4 walks.
Warren County collected 13 hits with Helton and Smith getting 3 hits each. Golden and Jennings both got 2 hits each while Yasunaga, Estes and Rogers all racked up 1 hit apiece.
The Pioneers play again on Monday, April 10, when they play host to Rhea County. Game time is 5:30 p.m.