The Warren County High School baseball team gathered one final time last Friday to celebrate the season with a banquet.
After a 13-17 season which saw the Pioneers place third in District 6-AAA, Warren County coach Adam Childs handed out team awards and the program honored nine players who were named all-district.
Junior Logan Underhill garnered his second straight Team MVP award as he completed another stellar season. Underhill, who was also one of five Pioneers to garner All-District 6-AAA first team recognition, finished among the team lead in almost every hitting category and was the captain of the infield from his shortstop position.
Underhill led the team with a .379 batting average as he finished with 39 hits, 15 more than any other player on the team. Underhill also scored 22 times, second most on the team, as he bounced in and out of the lead-off spot for the Pioneers.
Along with Underhill winning Team MVP, two seniors took home multiple team awards Friday night at Patrick Ramsey Field. Outfielder Daulton Foster was honored as the team captain and received the Mr. Hustle award. Catcher Mitchell Steiner was the Hilda Lowery citizenship award and mental attitude team award recipient.
Foster, who also was named second-team all-district, personified hustle for the Pioneers as he was often called on as a pinch runner early in the season despite dealing with various injuries. When healthy, Foster was a steady right fielder for Warren County who was always the first on the field and one of the last to leave. His drive and determination was noted by the coaching staff, along with his peers. Foster was solid with the bat as well as he finished the year with a .288 average, good for third on the team.
Steiner was rewarded for his perserverance as a Pioneer for four years. Often the team’s bullpen catcher for the first three years, Steiner worked his way into the starting lineup as a senior and was a big contributor throughout the year. For his relentess pursuit to play his favorite sport, Steiner was given the Hilda Lowery award by Hilda’s daughter Dawn Wanamaker and the mental attitude award.
Along with Underhill, senior center fielder Alex Hillis, junior catcher Lee Carden, junior second baseman Park Hilliard and sophomore first baseman Chayse Frye were named to the All-District 6-AAA first team.
Hillis finished with the team’s second-highest batting average as the senior hit .293 for the year. Hillis was also second in RBIs with 17 and fourth in runs scored as he crossed the plate 20 times. In 14 district games, Hillis finished with a team-high .297 batting average and nine RBIs.
Despite playing the last month of the season with a broken nose that sidelined him for two weeks, Carden was still named All-District 6-AAA. Carden hit three home runs, tops on the team, while adding 16 RBIs and scoring 21 runs. Carden’s versatility on defense also helped the Pioneers as the junior started games at catcher, third base and center field.
Hilliard was a first-year starter as second base in his junior year, but he made an immediate impact. Hilliard scored a team-high 24 runs as he used his speed to stay in scoring position for the Pioneers. Hilliard also finished in double figures in RBIs with 10.
Frye recovered from an ankle injury that ended his freshman year prematurely to garner all-district recognition as a sophomore. As the team’s clean-up hitter, Frye finished with a team-leading 19 RBIs and hit one of the team’s two home runs in district play at Cookeville. Hillis also hit a home run against the Cavaliers.
Three Pioneer pitchers joined Foster on the All-District 6-AAA second team. Those pitchers were senior David Lee, junior Ryan Jennings and sophomore Will Sweeton.
Lee battled back from knee surgery to give the Pioneers a lift in his senior season, though an elbow injury kept him off the mound late in the year. Lee finished the year 2-2 and led the team with 3.46 ERA. Lee’s best game was a complete-game, three-hitter against White County in a game the Pioneers won 6-2.
Jennings proved to be the Pioneers workhorse in his junior year as he made the most appearances and pitched the most innings of any member on the team. Jennings pitched 55.2 innings and amassed a 4-3 record during the year. Jennings finished with a 4.28 ERA and a team-high 36 strikeouts. In district play, Jennings lowered his ERA to 4.05 while earning three of his four wins.
Sweeton was named all-district as well, though the sophomore’s biggest moments came out of district. Sweeton finished the year 3-1, with all of his wins coming against non-district opponents. Sweeton was the winning pitcher when Warren County beat nationally ranked Tullahoma in March.
The Pioneers finished their banquet night with a slow-pitch softball game and the senior class, which includes Kyle Rutledge and Jeremiah Lance, were presented framed jerseys.