Motlow faces top-level competition
Lynchburg, TN -- The Motlow Bucks have one more opportunity to improve their position in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings when they host their final series of the regular season this weekend at the Driver Baseball Complex.
The Bucks (18-32, 5-19) did not help themselves this past weekend when they traveled to Chattanooga State and dropped all three games of the series. The Tigers swept Saturday's doubleheader 15-9, 10-0, and then held off a Motlow rally to win Sunday's single game 4-2.
This weekend the competition only gets better with Walters State sitting at the top of the TCCAA standings and ranked No. 9 in the nation. The Senators and Bucks will play their single game Thursday at 2 p.m. and the doubleheader on Friday is scheduled for a noon start.
Chattanooga State jumped on Motlow starter RJ Moore for eight runs in the first inning in Saturday's opener, but to the Bucks' credit they battled back and closed the gap to 10-8 in the fourth inning. The Tigers then took advantage of Motlow miscues to plate five runs in the bottom of the sixth and secure the win.
Moore (1-4) took the loss, allowing five earned runs in 2.2 innings with three strikeouts. Connor Boyd pitched the final 3.1 innings and also gave up five earned runs. Hunter Nance had three hits for the Bucks while Peyton Meeker went 2-3 with three RBI.
The Bucks could not get their bats going in Saturday's second game as Chattanooga State pitching kept them at bay. Nate Newman (3-9) started the game on the mound for Motlow, allowing seven hits and four earned runs in 4.2 innings. JR Gilmer and Zach Hopkins closed out the five-inning affair which ended when the Tigers invoked the 10-run rule in the sixth inning. Motlow managed six hits, including two each by Brody Thomasson and Aaron Hobbs.
Sunday's nine-inning contest was highly contested, with Chattanooga State jumping ahead with two runs in the first. Motlow held its ground though and cut the lead in half with a run in the sixth. The Tigers responded with two more in their half of the sixth to lead 4-1. The Bucks added a run in the eighth but couldn't sustain the rally.
Well enough, but...
Camron Harper (1-8) took the loss on the mound for the Bucks although he pitched well enough to win, allowing only three hits and two earned runs with five strikeouts. His defense let me down with three errors. Gilmer was spotless in relief, allowing only two hits in 2.1 innings.
Spencer Mossburg drove in both runs for the Bucks, with the first coming in the sixth when his single scored Dylan Stark who had opened the inning with a single. The second came on a sacrifice fly in the eighth that scored Hobbs.
Following this weekend's final series, all TCCAA teams will await seeding for the conference tournament, which begins May 8 in Columbia.
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