In a low-scoring pitching battle Thursday night, the WCHS Pioneers had a slim 1-run lead going into the bottom of the seventh, 2-1, as they tried to contain the DeKalb County Tigers for the win.
That’s when things went south for Warren County (4-4, 3-1) as a walk, followed by a hit batter sent Tigers to first and second. A sacrifice bunt by Paxton Butler advanced runners to second and third as DeKalb had only 1 out.
On the next at bat, DeKalb hit a grounder and a miscue on the Pioneer defense allowed 2 runs for the Tigers, ending the ballgame, 3-2.
“I was very happy with how we competed against the Jennings kid. He is the best pitcher we’ve faced so far and I thought we had really good at-bats,” said WCHS coach Adam Childs. “I was also happy with how Hollingsworth threw last night. He kept us in the game the whole night. We just had some breaks go against us.”
Facing the best DeKalb County had to offer from the mound the Pioneers competed very well. Tiger senior Steven Jennings was the starting pitcher. He recently signed a letter-of-intent to play for the Ole Miss Rebels after his high school career is completed.
Starting at pitcher for the Pioneers was Tyler Hollingsworth who had a standout game, throwing six innings, giving up 2 hits, 2 runs and 4 strikeouts.
DeKalb’s Jennings led the strikeout total count with 7 in pitching 3-2/3 innings.
The Pioneers had more hits than DeKalb as 6 Warren County batters connected, while the Tigers were held to 2 hits in the contest. Colby Elkins led with 2 hits and Taisei Yasunaga, Lucas Rogers, Brooks Helton and Wesley Jenkins all had 1 hit. Elkins and Jennings each had 1 RBI apiece as well.
The game stayed static through the fourth inning, with each club earning a run in the third, 1-1. The Pioneers took a 1-run lead in the top of the fifth when Yasunaga doubled to right field followed by a drive to right field by Elkins who drove in Yasunaga for the 2-1 lead Warren County clung tight to until the seventh.
The Pioneers played host to Hixson on Saturday and travel to Cookeville on Monday. Game time is 5:30 p.m.