The Pioneers are peaking at the perfect time. And that suits new coach Trice Powers just fine.
In his first year as head coach of the WCHS baseball team, Powers has guided the Pioneers into the region tournament. Warren County earned its spot with a 10-3 victory over White County Tuesday, though it will start on the road due to a 1-0 loss to Cookeville in the championship game Wednesday.
"It's been a good year and maybe that loss was just the motivation we needed going into region," said Powers, whose team had won 10 straight district games before Wednesday's loss. "We played well and we're still playing this deep into the season. That's the goal."
Jack Keele pulled double duty to push the Pioneers into the region, starring on the mound and at the plate to take down White County. Keele finished 2-for-3 at the dish with three RBIs, while also pitching a complete game with seven strikeouts to silence the Warriors.
Warren County busted open the game in the fourth, scoring six runs to break a 2-2 tie. Senior Cole Estes played a big part, with his two-run single starting the rally. Hunter Adams also had a two-out, two-run single, making it 8-2.
Keele did the rest.
The sophomore pitched out of a jam in the fourth after allowing an RBI double, striking out Eli McDonald on three pitches with runners on second and third.
The Pioneers got two more runs in the sixth on an error, ending the Warrior season with a two-game sweep.
Cookeville swept Rhea County on the other side of the bracket, setting up Wednesday's championship game.
The Pioneers were up to the task, but Joshua South was too much to overcome.
The dominant senior shut down Warren County, while Jacob Stamps provided the lone run on a solo homer in the fourth.
"One pitch was the difference," said Powers. "We didn't do enough at the plate, plus their guy was good.
"It's the third time we've seen South and that's probably the best he's been. Brooks (Helton) and Dylan (Ward) threw it well, we just couldn't scratch one across."
Helton took the loss, surrendering a two-out solo shot in the fourth for his lone run while striking out three. Ward didn't allow a run in his two innings of work.
Ethan Smith led the offense with two hits, while Adams and Estes had one hit each.
For more information on the region tournament, check Sunday's Standard.