UNION, S.C. — Second-ranked Walters State's pitching staff had amassed a minuscule earned run average through 15 games this season, and Thursday's performance from eight pitchers on the team helped those numbers dip even lower.
The Senators allowed just four hits in a pair of shutouts at USC Union, and the offensive production was solid throughout the day in back-to-back 9-0 wins over the Bantams at Timken Sports Complex.
Kody Davidson, Zebby Matthews, Drew Vaden and Zach Joyce combined to toss seven innings of three-hit baseball in the opening win, striking out 10 batters and walking just two in the contest. Matthews (1-1) picked up the win by giving up just one run in three innings.
In the nightcap, Bubba Hubbard, Blake Petty, Andrew Lindsey and Jack Collins combined on a seven-inning one-hitter, with the lone hit coming with one out in the seventh frame. Petty (1-0) was the winner after working two hitless innings while the offense scored nine runs of support in the fourth frame.
With the sweep, Walters State now stands at 14-3 on the year after running its winning steak to 11 games. The losses dropped the Bantams to 1-5 on the campaign.
In the opener, the Senators took a 3-0 lead in the third inning, added two more in the fourth and three in the fifth before closing the scoring in the seventh with a single run.
Jacob Jennings smacked two hits and drove in four runs in the win, while Brayden Combs and JL Bland both added two hits with two RBIs. Combs had a pair of doubles, Braydon Runion added a two-bagger and an RBI, and Mason Streater tripled while Michael Robinson had a single in the contest.
Streater led off the third with a triple and scored on a two-bagger from Runion. After Jennings drew a walk, Combs drove home both runners with a double to make it 3-0.
The lead increased over the next two innings, as Jennings plated two runs with a single in the fourth, Bland added a two-run single in the fifth and Jennings drove in Bland with a sacrifice fly to make it 8-0. The final run came in the seventh when Runion walked and scored on a base hit by Jennings to make the final 9-0.
In the finale, Drew Haynie led the Senators with two hits, while Runion, Silas Butler, Bryce Hodge, Max Reimer and Seth Gardner each added a single in the win. Butler and Hodge both drove in two runs, while Reimer, Jennings, Gardner and Parker Stinnett had an RBI apiece.
All the scoring came in the top of the fourth, as WSCC pushed across nine runs in the frame. With the bases loaded, Jennings drew a walk for the first run before Gardner singled in a run and Stinnett walked as well for another run added to the lead. Butler followed with a two-run single, as did Hodge, who later scored on a passed ball before Reimer drove in the final run with an RBI single.
Josh Nelson broke up the no-hit bid in the bottom of the seventh with a one-out single before being stranded at second base.
The Senators will be back on the road this weekend for their second Tennessee Community College Athletic Association series of the season when they take on Jackson State (9-7, 0-2 TCCAA), looking to keep their unbeaten league record intact. Walters State is 2-0 in TCCAA play after taking two from Chattanooga State last weekend. The series begins Sunday with a single game at 3 p.m. before the two teams battle in a doubleheader on Monday beginning at 1 p.m.