There’s one thing worse than losing on a walk-off hit – having it happen twice in one night.
The Warren County High School baseball team was beaten in the bottom of the seventh in back-to-back games Friday night, falling to Hilliard Bradley, Ohio, 8-7 and Stewarts Creek 3-2 in the Warrior Classic. The brutal defeats extended the Pioneer losing streak to nine games, along with dropping the team’s overall record to 3-12.
Dillon Ysseldyke lifted the Jaguars to a win in Warren County’s first game Friday, spoiling a furious comeback by the Pioneers.
Warren County scored six runs in the top of the sixth, turning a 7-1 deficit into a tie game. Brooks Helton ignited the rally with a two-run single, scoring Ryland Holder (lead-off double) and Hunter Adams (hit by pitch). Omari Harris added an RBI single, while Will Cantrell roped a double to make it 7-5.
The Pioneers knotted the score when Harris and Cantrell were able to score on an error.
Warren County had a chance to take the lead in the seventh. Adams and Ty Martin each reached base on singles, but Adams was tagged out at home on a squeeze play and Martin was left stranded in scoring position.
Ysseldyke drove in the winning run shortly after. His single into right field scored Caleb Jenkins, who had reached base on a lead-off double off Bryan Bynum.
Bynum took the loss, giving up three runs in three-plus innings after entering in the fourth inning. Kason Holder pitched the first three innings, surrendering five runs on two hits while walking six and striking out four.
The Pioneers experienced déjà vu in the second game of the double header.
Again locked in a tight battle after producing some late runs, Stewarts Creek was able to squeak by on Austin Wooten’s RBI fielder’s choice in the seventh inning. Wooten hit a slow grounder to second base, allowing enough time for Sam Slaughter – who led off the seventh with a triple – to score.
The second game was scoreless entering the sixth, but Helton once again was ready to deliver offensively.
With two on and two outs, Helton was able to find a seam through the infield. Ethan Smith and Trace Adcock both scored on the single, putting the Pioneers ahead 2-0.
Connor Moss erased the deficit in the bottom of the frame, coming through with a two-out, two-run single of his own to lock the score at 2-2.
The Pioneers didn’t mount anything offensively in the seventh and Wooten was able to deliver a win for the Redhawks in walk-off fashion.
Braden Bottoms took the loss for the Pioneers, pitching the last two innings and allowing three runs on three hits and striking out three. Adcock pitched the first five innings, keeping the Redhawks scoreless while striking out three.
Adcock had two of his team’s three hits against Stewarts Creek. Helton’s two-run single provided for the rest of the scoring.
Warren County will be back in action Monday when it begins District 6AAA play at home. The Pioneers are set to face Rhea County at Patrick Ramsey Field, with the first pitch set for 6 p.m.