It was an epic battle with Rhea County as the WCHS Pioneers fought for the right to play in the district championship game.
After dropping an away game by one run, then run ruling Rhea County at home, the Pioneers defeated the Golden Eagles, 6-5, on Wednesday in a seventh-inning win that cemented a district championship game for Warren County.
“It was a heck of a series that we just played with Rhea County. They gave us everything they had and fortunately we were able to come out on top. Our kids never quit and got the big rally in the seventh,” said WCHS head coach Adam Childs. “I have told our boys all year if we have an out we have a chance. We took that chance last night and ran with it. I am so proud of the boys for the way they played. It was a total team effort.”
Reminiscent of game 1, Warren County was down 5-4 in the top of the seventh. This time, the Pioneers prevailed as Colby Elkins doubled to center field scoring runner Taisei Yasunaga, followed by a single by Lucas Rogers to center scoring Cole Estes.
Up by 3 runs in the top of the third, 3-1, Warren County dug deep and showed heart with the seventh-inning win after an earlier rally by Rhea County could have put a damper on the Pioneers as a 3-run homer in the bottom of the inning gave the lead back to Rhea, 4-3.
Noah Fann earned the win for Warren County. On the mound all seven innings, Fann allowed 5 runs, 11 hits, 3 strikeouts, and 1 walk.
Warren County had 8 hits. Colby Elkins (2 runs, 1 RBI) and Lucas Rogers (1 run, 3 RBIs) both went 3-for-4 at the plate. Isaac Golden (1 run, 1 RBI) and Wesley Jennings both had 1 hit each.
Tuesday, May 9
Warren County 11
Rhea County 0
Making a statement after the Golden Eagles squeaked by with a win in Rhea County on Monday, 7-6, the Pioneers run-ruled Rhea at home scoring 11 runs off 14 hits in four innings Tuesday.
Brooks Helton was throwing heat from the mound in the victory, pitching for 5 innings and getting the shutout. Helton gave up 2 hits with 1 walk.
The Pioneer defense stood strong behind Helton, as Warren County extracted some payback for Monday.
Warren County had 14 total hits as Pioneer Taisei Yasunaga went 3-for-3 with 2 runs and 2 RBIs. Nick Williamson (3 RBIs) and Wesley Jennings (1 RBI) both were 2-for-2 with 2 runs each. Ethan Smith was 3-for-2 (1 run), and Cole Estes (1 run), Colby Elkins (1 run, 1 RBI), Lucas Rogers (1 run), Isaac Golden (2 runs) and Helton (1 RBI) all had 1 hit each and Peyton Norris had 1 run.
Warren County didn’t commit an error. Jennings had 7 chances, the most on the team.
The Pioneers played Cookeville Thursday night, results were not available at press time. With a win Warren County plays at home Monday against Walker Valley. With a loss, the Pioneers travel to Ooltewah Monday instead.