On a cold, blustery night at home, the Warren County High School baseball team suffered its third straight loss, this one coming by way of the Coffee County Red Raiders.
The game remained close in its entirety, including a Pioneer lead going into the seventh, but the Pioneers lost 10-9. Errors and cold spells at the plate doomed the Pioneers.
Coffee County took the lead with two outs in the top of the seventh, then managed to hang on after the Pioneers loaded the bases in their final at-bat.
Colby Elkins led the way at the plate for the Pioneers, going 2-for-4 with a single, double and 4 RBIs. Taisei Yasunaga, Tyler Prater and Cole Estes also contributed 2-for-4 games at the plate. Noah Fann suffered the loss in relief of starting pitcher Trevor Collins.
The visiting Red Raiders started the top of the first with their bats on fire, scoring two runs in the inning, thanks to a 2-RBI single to centerfield from Deandre Wakefield, making the lead 2-0, going into the bottom of the first.
The Pioneers found themselves in a position to do some damage in the bottom of the inning when Estes doubled to center field. That was followed up by a double to right field by Elkins, scoring Estes, and the Pioneers were in business trailing 2-1.
The Pioneers then scored four runs in the second, courtesy of an Estes RBI single, an Elkins fielder’s choice, and Will Lupo’s 2-RBI double to left, to snatch the lead from the Red Raiders in the bottom of the second, 5-2.
Wakefield hit a sacrifice fly for the Red Raiders in the top of the third to cut into the Pioneer lead, 5-3, and stop some of the momentum.
The Red Raiders continued to take advantage in the top of the fourth. Wyatt Day hit a sacrifice fly for the Red Raiders to score their only run in the inning, but inching closer to the Pioneers, 5-4.
The Red Raiders took advantage of the Pioneers with a four-run top of the fifth to take the lead, 8-5. The Pioneers needed an answer going into the bottom of the inning, but didn’t get one as the struggles continued, into the sixth. The Red Raider bats finally cooled off, in the top of the sixth, and the Pioneers finally had an answer in the bottom of the inning.
With one out and the bases loaded, Estes was hit by a Red Raider pitch, scoring Ethan Smith, and the Pioneers had new life 8-6. The Pioneers tacked on three more runs, thanks to an Elkins 2-RBI single and a Lupo, fielder’s choice, to take the lead back from the Red Raiders 9-8.
The Pioneers needed three outs to come away victorious, despite a sluggish showing. With two-outs, in the top of the seventh, the Red Raiders scored two runs to capture the lead, 10-9.
The Pioneers had one last chance in the bottom of the inning. With the bases loaded and two-outs, Estes, who had a solid all-around night, popped the ball up to second, sending the Pioneers to their third straight loss.
The Pioneers were back in action Saturday when they traveled to Coffee County to take on the Red Raiders. Results weren’t available at press time.