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Pioneers pick up first win of season

The Warren County High School baseball team captured its first victory of the season in a game last night against Sequatchie County.
Warren County returns to action looking for win No. 2 on Saturday when the Pioneers play host to Shelbyville at Patrick Ramsey Field. Action will begin at noon with junior varsity, while varsity action is set to begin at 2 p.m.
As for previous action, the baseball team came into Tuesday night’s game with a zero in the win column, but it was another zero concerning the Pioneers against Coffee County.
Warren County went five innings before getting a hit against the Red Raiders and finished with just two as the Pioneers fell 7-1 at Powers Field.
The loss, which completed a sweep for the Red Raiders over the Pioneers to begin the District 6-AAA season, looked a lot worse when the sixth inning began.
Although Warren County trailed just 5-1, the zero on the scoreboard under the Pioneers hit total seemed to be growing motivation for the Red Raiders.
Senior Caleb Northcutt finally snapped the no-hit attempt when he doubled into the left-field gap with one out in the sixth inning.
Northcutt’s double was followed by a single from Collin Hutchings, which looked to be the beginning of a rally. It was a short-lived rally however, as a base-running blunder cost the Pioneers an opportunity to score.
With runners on the corners, coach Joey Haston decided to run Hutchings and give Warren County two runners in scoring position. Coffee County made the throw down, which sent Northcutt sprinting toward home.
The Pioneers’ fastest player got a late jump though and the Red Raiders shortstop cut the throw to second off and was able to pick-off Northcutt.
It would be the closest Warren County got to scoring in the late innings, as the Pioneers went down in order following the momentum-shifting out at the plate.
Warren County got off to a good start when it scored in the top of the first. The Pioneers manufactured a run without getting a hit, as Logan Walker reached on an error and advanced around on groundouts.
After Walker found himself on third base with two outs, the Pioneers junior center fielder jumped on an opportunity to score when a ball trickled past the Coffee County catcher. Walker was able to steal home on a passed ball, giving Warren County a 1-0 lead.
The advantage didn’t last long, as the Red Raiders bounced back with two runs in each of the first two innings. Pioneers starter Micah McColloch wouldn’t last past the third inning, as coach Haston made the move to Connor Dixon when McColloch loaded the bases with one out and his team already trailing 4-1.
Dixon was able to get the Pioneers out of the jam by forcing a groundout to shortstop Dylan Barnes, who tossed to second base for the force out. The play allowed a run to score when Nick Grandey couldn’t complete the double play.
Walker came up with a big play to get Dixon out of the inning without giving up more runs. The next Red Raiders batter lofted a shot into short center field and it looked like an easy single. Walker broke on the ball and made a head-first, diving catch to get the Pioneers out of the inning though, drawing huge cheers from the Warren County faithful who made the trip.
It was part of a flashy defensive night for Warren County’s outfield. Senior Christian Gonzalez added to his growing  highlight reel when he made a diving catch in the right-field gap to save a double and retire the side in the fourth inning.
The strong Pioneer defense backed up Dixon and Derek Brumley, who combined to give up just two runs and five hits in the final four innings. The Warren County relievers were a bright spot for coach Haston.
“Connor did an excellent job while he was on the mound,” said Haston. “Derek wasn’t at his peak form, but he also gave us some good innings.”