Each time the Pioneers look poised to turn the corner, a new obstacle appears.
After winning four straight games, the Warren County High School baseball team ended the week with a pair of losses Saturday in the Rebel Classic. The Pioneers fell to Goodpasture 4-1 and followed with a 6-4 loss to McMinn County.
Warren County (7-14) was riding high entering Saturday's action, capping a solid stretch of baseball with Friday’s 8-2 victory over Station Camp at home. The Pioneers were back on their home field Saturday, but couldn’t sustain their success.
Goodpasture used a three-run second inning to take control of Saturday’s first game, which began at 10 a.m. By the time Warren County showed signs of waking up, the deficit had grown to 4-0.
Ryland Holder temporarily sparked the Pioneers with a lead-off double in the fourth. After advancing to third on a passed ball, Holder would score on a sacrifice fly from Brooks Helton.
It proved to be the only production for the Pioneers, who finished with just four hits against Cougar hurler Graham Parrish. Helton added a single in the seventh, but a late rally never emerged as the team was retired in order following the hit.
Ethan Smith and Will Cantrell had the other two hits for Warren County.
Trace Adcock took the loss, going the distance while allowing four runs on nine hits.
Cantrell tried to power the Pioneers back into win column in Saturday’s second game, but his home runs weren’t enough to top the visiting Cherokees.
For the second time in three games, Cantrell hit a pair of long balls for the Pioneers. The senior hit a solo shot in the second inning to give his team a 1-0 lead. He hit his second in the sixth, with the two-run homer narrowing the gap to 5-4 late.
Down 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh, the Pioneers put on the tying runs with two outs, but a shot to shortstop ended the game.
Adcock had two hits in the loss, while Holder, Helton, Hunter Adams and Omari Harris added one hit each.
Heath Kuykendall took the loss, pitching three innings and allowing three runs. Braden Bottoms allowed two runs in three innings of work, while Ty Martin surrendered a score in the seventh.