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Pioneers fall in title game
Baseball Runner-up Plaque 5-11.jpg
WCHS senior Ben Rivers stretches for home plate at full speed to score the second of Warren County’s two runs Tuesday night against Cookeville in the district championship. - photo by Brad Durham
Ben Rivers reaching for home plate 5-11.jpg
WCHS senior Ben Rivers stretches for home plate at full speed to score the second of Warren County’s two runs Tuesday night against Cookeville in the district championship. - photo by Brad Durham

The Pioneers lost to Cookeville at home Tuesday night in the 6-AAA District Championship game, 5-2. In a nutshell, Warren County simple was not able to move baserunners around the bases to produce enough runs. There were opportunities to win the game, but Cookeville jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning that the Pioneers could not overcome.

The Cookeville Cavaliers gave the Pioneers the opportunity to score some runs in the bottom of the first when their starting pitcher hit three Pioneer batters in-a-row. Ryland Holder, Kason Holder and Jace Brantley were all hit by pitches with two outs. 

Unfortunately, the Pioneers were not able to produce any runs in the inning. Cookeville’s pitcher settled down, and the Pioneers scored two runs in the sixth inning off one of Cookeville’s relief pitchers.

It was too little too late for Warren County which entered the championship game as regular season district champions. It was a frustrating loss, especially for the seniors who wished to celebrate a district tournament championship at home. The Pioneers advance to region tournament action next week by finishing as runner-up in the district tournament.

COACH COMMENTS

WCHS coach Phillip King commented after the game about the loss. King said, “Bases were loaded twice. We definitely had opportunities. Cookeville deserved to win. They were the better team. That is a good baseball team over there. We split with them in the season. They scored three runs in the first inning and that was the difference in the game. Cookeville came out and swung it. They had a lot of energy over there. Our kids did not quit. We could not get the big hit. Tip your cap … they deserve the district championship.”

PLAYER COMMENTS

Starting pitcher Layne Roberts was asked how he was dealing with the agony of defeat. Roberts replied, “It stinks. Cookeville is not a bad team at all. I felt like I was throwing the ball fine. They were just hitting it up.”

PIONEER HITTERS

Braden Bottoms 3, Kason Holder 2, Wyatt Wilson 2 and Ben Rivers 1. Producing RBIs were Braden Bottoms 2.

PIONEER PITCHERS

Layne Roberts started on the mound and had 3 strikeouts and gave up 7 hits and 4 earned runs. John Garrett pitched the final two innings and gave up 2 hits and no runs.

NEXT GAME,

SEASON RECORD

Warren County plays in the region tournament Monday at Bradley Central in Cleveland. Game time is 6 p.m. CST. The Pioneers are 20-12 for the season.