The Warren County High School baseball team started its season on the right foot Monday night when the Pioneers defeated the Upperman Bees, 9-6, in a game that saw plenty of offense.
Pioneer third baseman Colby Elkins had an impressive showing by going 2-for-3 with six RBIs, including a three-run homer over the left-field fence in the bottom of the third.
Right fielder Cole Estes had a solid night as well, going 2-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored.
Pioneer starting pitcher Tyler Prater earned his first win of the season. He allowed six runs and nine hits in 5-1/3 innings while striking out five.
The Pioneers scored early, thanks to an error by the Bees, scoring Pioneer shortstop Taisei Yasunaga making the lead 1-0. Center fielder Isaac Golden scored later on a sacrifice fly by Brooks Helton in the top of the first to give the Pioneers the 2-0 advantage going into the second.
Upperman cut into the lead in the top of the second, scoring a run on a sacrifice fly to get on the scoreboard, making it 2-1 going into the bottom of the inning. The Pioneers failed to score or manage a hit in the bottom half of the second, going down in order, but still held on to the lead by a small margin, 2-1. The Bees took the lead in the top of the third, 3-2, and the Pioneers needed an answer going into the bottom of the inning, and they got it.
With one out in the bottom of the third, Elkins crushed a three-run shot over the left-field fence to give the Pioneers the lead back, 5-3. The Bees couldn’t capitalize in the top of the fourth, and the Pioneers tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a single to start the inning by Estes, plating Elkins, that started the scoring. The Pioneers started to pull away from the Bees with a 9-3 advantage going into the top of the fifth.
The Bees scored two runs in the top half of the fifth, due to walks and errors by the Pioneers. Prater was replaced by Cameron Shaw, and Upperman had life going into the bottom of the inning still trailing 9-5. The Pioneers didn’t score in the bottom of the fifth, and the Bees managed to score one more run in the top of the sixth, but the Pioneers still led 9-6 after five.
After the Pioneers managed nothing in the run column in the bottom of the inning, the Bees had one more chance to tie or potentially take the lead in the top of the seventh, but that was short-lived. Shaw put the Bees down in order, securing the Pioneer win and earning his first save of the season, going 1-2/3 innings, while striking out three Bees.
The Pioneers were back in action Tuesday night when they traveled to Baxter to take on the Bees for game two against each other. Results were not available at press time.