Saturday was a good day for baseball in Warren County. Although threatening weather loomed on the horizon, the WCHS Pioneers didn’t feel threatened by visiting Hixson County and sent the Wildcats home empty handed with a 5-0 shutout.
“I thought we played well,” said Warren County coach Adam Childs. “Trevor (Collins) threw really well and so did Colton (Smith). I thought we did just enough offensively but overall was pleased with how we played.”
Warren County (5-4, 3-1) started early in the bottom of the first after Hixson put two players on base, first Taisei Yasunaga was walked and Cole Estes pushed Yasunaga to second after getting hit by a pitch. Pioneer Colby Elkins hit a fly ball to the centerfielder, allowing Yasunaga to tag up and make it to third.
Lucas Rogers grounded to the first baseman that allowed Estes to advance to second while Yasunaga stayed on third. With two outs, Pioneer Brooks Helton hit a hard shot to right field pushing in Yasunaga and Estes before they retired the inning, 2-0.
It was a defensive pitching battle until the bottom of the fourth as Collins earned the win for Warren County pitching 5 innings with 0 hits, 0 runs, 7 strikeouts and 3 walks. Smith entered in relief in the sixth with 1 hit, 0 strikeouts and 0 walks.
After retiring the Wildcats in the top of the fourth, the Pioneers started another rally in the bottom of the inning. Nick Williamson walked to first as lead-off batter and was replaced by courtesy runner Ethan Smith on first.
Peyton Norris singled on a precision bunt sending Smith to second. Smith promptly stole third on a wild pitch and Norris went to second. Yasunaga bunted into a fielder’s choice as the Wildcats tried to catch Smith but no dice as Smith scored, 3-0. Estes was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases for the Pioneers.
Elkins was up with bases loaded and no outs and he singled with a line drive to right field, driving in both Norris and Yasunaga, 5-0, to finish the rally as the Pioneers got three straight outs to finish the inning.
Two more short innings in the fifth and sixth, left it up to the Wildcats in the top of the seventh if they were going to score. The Pioneers made short work of it however, with two fly outs and a grounder to close out the contest.
Markum started the game for Hixson. He went four innings, giving up five runs, seven hits, and striking out one.
Warren County had seven hits. Helton, Elkins, and Norris each had two hits and Isaac Golden had 1 hit. Elkins and Helton both had 2 RBIs and Yasunaga had 1.
Hixson only had 1 hit in the ballgame.
Prior to the game, the 1992 state champion Pioneers received honors as this weekend they celebrated their 25th reunion since beating Germantown twice in Murfreesboro to win the state title.
Pioneer Peyton Norris was awarded the Hilda Lowry Memorial Baseball Award for 2017 that is given for all-around excellence in sportsmanship and citizenship.