HARRIMAN, Tenn. — Second-ranked Walters State moved into sole possession of first place in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association baseball standings Friday afternoon by putting together an impressive offensive display in dismantling rival Roane State in their weekend series opener, 17-2, in Harriman.
The Senators had 18 hits on the day, including five for extra bases, and recorded 15 RBIs as a team while seeing the trio of Alex Haynes, Dillon Phillips and Jack Collins hold the Raiders to just five hits in the game, which was shortened to seven innings due to the mercy rule.
With the win, Walters State improves to 31-5 on the year and 10-1 in TCCAA play, putting the Senators a half-game ahead of Motlow State (9-1) in the league standings. The Bucks won't begin their series at Dyersburg State this weekend until Sunday.
WSCC has now also won 42 of its last 45 games against Roane State in league play, and the Senators have notched 37 wins in their last 41 regular season conference games dating back to the final series during the 2017 season. It was also the 26th time this season the Senators have held their opponent to three runs or less, as they have outscored their opponents 323-75 this season, including 101-23 in 11 league games. Walters State is also 18-3 in true road games this campaign.
The loss dropped the Raiders to 7-12 on the year and 3-8 in TCCAA play, as they have lost seven of their last eight conference games and fell to 6-3 at home this season after going 18 days between home games.
Walters State scored three runs in the second inning, added two more in the third and exploded for 11 runs in the fourth and one final run in the fifth, all after falling behind 1-0 after one inning of play. Roane State scored the final run in the bottom of the fifth.
Haynes (5-2) worked four innings, allowing an earned run on four hits while fanning six batters and walking one and hitting another in the win. Phillips surrendered an earned run on a hit in 1 2/3 innings, while Collins entered and got the final four outs to close out the victory.
Xavier Arnette had his best game in a Walters State uniform in the win by making a pair of triples and a double to go along with a single for a four-hit game, and he drove in four runs and scored three times in the contest. Bryce Hodge added three hits with a double and an RBI, while Drew Haynie, Brayden Combs and Braydon Run-on each had two hits, with Combs tagging a two-bagger. Haynie and Mason Streater both plated a pair of runs, while Jerry Hammons, Silas Butler, Hodge and Michael Robinson each had an RBI in the win.
Roane State led 1-0 after one, as Jakub Patterson drew a bases loaded walk for the game's first run, but WSCC came out firing over the next four innings to take complete control. Arnette had a two-run single in the second to give the Senators the lead, and Haynie added an RBI single to make it a 3-1 margin.
Streater and Robinson both had sacrifice flies in the third to increase the margin to 5-1 before the explosion in the fourth. Arnette tripled and scored on a base hit by Haynie, and Hodge added an RBI double before Combs brought home a pair of runs with a two-bagger. Streater tacked on an RBI single before Run-on scored on a passed ball with the bases loaded. After a JL Bland walk reloaded the bases, Arnette smoked a two-run double and Bland scored on a wild pitch. Hammons drove in Arnette with an RBI single and Combs tagged an RBI base hit to make it 16-1.
Arnette clubbed a two-out triple and scored on a Silas Butler base hit in the fifth to increase the lead again before the Raiders got the final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth.
The Senators and Raiders will close the three-game series Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader. First pitch of the opener is set for noon.