After a 5-1 lead Thursday, the Warren County Pioneers did a good job thwarting Coffee County’s comeback in the opener with an 8-7 victory, but the Red Raiders did a better job in game 2, defeating the Pioneers 6-5 after a come-from-behind rally.
The end result was Warren County split a doubleheader with Coffee County in McMinnville.
“In game one, we did a good job battling back after getting down,” said Warren County head coach Adam Childs. “Trevor (Collins) did a good job keeping us in the game and Cole (Estes) did great finishing it. I thought we hit the ball well and played well defensively again.”
“In game two, we just came up a little short but I love the battle in our kids,” Childs said. “I think we are starting to play well going into the end of the district schedule.”
Warren County 8
Coffee County 7
The Pioneers scored the winning runs in the bottom of the fifth, after Peyton Norris drove in Isaac Golden, Wesley Jennings scored off a passed ball, and Noah Fann scored off a sacrifice fly by Taisei Yasunaga, 8-7.
Warren County started its game-one rally in the bottom of the first as Lucas Rogers scored Yasunaga and Ethan Smith, 2-1. With two outs, the Pioneers scored 3 more runs after Wesley Jennings drove in Rogers with a centerfield pop-fly single, 3-1, and Nick Williamson drove in Golden and Jennings, 5-1.
The Red Raider comeback came with a quick-strike homer scoring 3 runs, 5-4, and Cookeville continued to score 2 additional runs, 6-5, before the Pioneers retired the inning.
Estes earned the win for the Pioneers pitching 3 innings, giving up 0 runs, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts and walking 1. Collins opened the game for Warren County, throwing for 4 innings with 7 hits, 7 runs, 5 strikeouts and 5 walks.
The Pioneers collected 12 hits. Williamson and Jennings both went 2-for-3 at the plate. Golden, Smith, and Rogers each got 2 hits and Yasunaga, and Norris had 1 hit each.
Coffee County 6
Warren County 5
The Pioneers jumped to an early first-inning lead in game two, after Rogers drove in runners Yasunaga and Colby Elkins, 2-0, and Rogers scored on a Golden ground ball, 3-0, before ending the inning.
Warren County scored 2 more runs, one in the fourth and one in the sixth, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Coffee County scoring spree as the Red Raiders scored 6 runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
Brooks Helton took the loss for Warren County, pitching 1 inning, surrendering 2 runs, and 3 hits. Colton Smith started the game for Warren County, throwing for 5 innings, allowing 4 runs, 4 hits, and 5 strikeouts.
Nick Williamson led the Pioneers going 2-for-3 at the plate and Rogers, Jennings and Norris all garnered 1 hit apiece.
The Pioneers travel next to Cookeville for a district matchup Monday with the Cavaliers. Game time is 5:30 p.m.