MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — Second-ranked Walters State scored multiple runs in five of the eight innings it batted and smashed six home runs Wednesday afternoon in a 22-0 rout of Tusculum's junior varsity squad at Ken Campbell Field.
Brayden Combs ripped a pair of round trippers on his birthday, while Braydon Runion, Silas Butler, Seth Gardner and JL Bland all added bombs on the afternoon as the Senators improved to 10-3 on the year with a 19-hit offensive attack.
Not to be outdone, the Walters State pitching staff had a solid effort as well, scattering six hits and striking out 13 batters and walking just four in nine innings of shutout baseball. Bubba Hubbard (2-0) picked up the win after striking out six and walking two in his two innings of work.
Drew Vaden and Andrew Lindsey both allowed a hit and fanned a pair of batters in two innings apiece on the hill, while Blake Petty tossed a spotless seventh frame with two punchouts. Zebby Matthews allowed one hit in the eighth but worked out of it for a scoreless inning, while Jack Collins allowed three hits and struck out one but did not give up a run in finishing off the shutout in the ninth.
Combs had three hits in the win, including his two that left the yard, while driving in five runs on the day, leading the team in hits and RBIs on the afternoon. Butler, Bland, Jacob Jennings and Michael Robinson each had two hits in the contest, with Butler driving in three runs. Gardner's home run was a grand slam, giving him four RBIs on the day. Runion and Max Reimer both had a pair of runs driven in, while Bland, Robinson, Mason Streater, Parker Stinnett and Alex Bibb each knocked home a run for WSCC.
After a scoreless first inning, Hubbard once again sat down the Pioneers in the second frame before watching the offense go to work. Combs singled and moved up 90 feet when Streater drew a walk before Bibb moved both runners into scoring position with a grounder. Reimer followed with a two-run single for a 2-0 lead.
Combs blasted the first of his two homers on the day in the third inning, this one a three-run shot, to make it 5-0, and the Senators added five runs in the fourth to increase the margin to 10-0. Robinson had an RBI grounder in the fourth before Combs drew a bases loaded walk for the second tally of the frame. Streater and Bibb both walked with the sacks full before Combs scored on a wild pitch for the final run in the inning.
After being sat down in order in the fifth, the Senators added a run in the sixth on the second round tripper of the day by Combs, this one making it an 11-0 lead. Runion ripped a two-run homer in the seventh and Stinnett added an RBI grounder for a 14-0 cushion.
In the eighth, Butler hammered a three-run moon ball down the left field line before Gardner smashed a grand slam and Bland added a solo shot to close the scoring at 22-0.
Wes Reynolds had a pair of hits for Tusculum in the contest, including a double. Carter Linton was the losing hurler after giving up two runs on two hits in an inning of relief.
The Senators will being Tennessee Community College Athletic Association play this weekend with a three-game home series against Chattanooga State. The first game is schedule for Friday at 2 p.m. before the series concludes Saturday with a doubleheader set to begin at noon.