HARRIMAN, Tenn. — Second-ranked Walters State ran roughshod over Roane State Saturday afternoon to sweep a doubleheader and take all three games of their Tennessee Community College Athletic Association series to widen their lead on first place in the league.
The Senators rolled to a 9-1 victory in the first game after a five-run first inning, and a four-run first frame in the series finale sparked a 9-2 victory to complete a dominant weekend in which Walters State outscored the Raiders 35-5 in 21 innings played.
With the sweep, the Senators are now 33-5 on the year and 12-1 in TCCAA play, putting them three games up in the win column on second place Motlow State. It was also the 15th straight conference series victory for WSCC, including 11 sweeps in that span, as the Senators have outscored their TCCAA competition this season 119-26 in 13 games.
It was also the 80th conference series sweep for Walters State since the beginning of the 2004 season, a span of 16 years. During that span, the Senators have only been swept once in 143 series in league play.
The losses dropped the Raiders, coached by former Senator Zach Sterner, to 7-14 overall and 3-10 in league play, as they have lost nine of their last 10 games in conference play and 44 of their last 47 conference games against Walters State.
In the opener, the Senators put up five runs in the first inning and cruised to the win. Bryce Hodge had three hits, including a pair of doubles, while driving in a run, while Mason Streater had a triple and plated three runs and Brayden Combs ripped a pair of singles and drove in two runs in the win.
Hodge got the scoring started with an RBI single in the first inning off Roane State starting pitcher Lincoln Bowman before Braydon Runion added a run-scoring base hit. Streater followed with a two-run triple and scored on a base hit by Michael Robinson to make it 5-0.
The Senators added two runs in the second frame, as Hammons reached on an error and moved to third on a double by Hodge before Combs singled and brought in both runs to make it a 7-0 lead.
Walters State added a run in the third when JL Bland doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on an sacrifice fly by Xavier Arnette. Roane State got a run back in the fifth on a passed ball, but a sacrifice fly from Streater in the sixth scored Parker Stinnett for the final run of the game.
Corey Stone (7-1) worked five innings and allowed an unearned run on three hits with five strikeouts in getting the win. Andrew Lindsey worked two scoreless innings and gave up one hit and just two base runners to close out the win.
Bowman (2-4) took the loss after giving up eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits in 2 1/3 innings.
In the finale, it was another strong start for the Senators, as a four-run first inning gave WSCC all the offense it would need in the contest. Another four-spot in the third frame and a crushed solo home run in the seventh by Alex Bibb provided the nine runs for Walters State before the home team scored twice in the home half of the seventh to avoid a shutout.
Robinson had a double and drove in four runs in the contest, while Drew Haynie had two hits with a double and an RBI and Bibb's homer was his third round tripper of the season.
Zebby Matthews (4-1) picked up the win after allowing just one hit in five scoreless innings. Blake Petty tossed a scoreless sixth inning in relief, and Gage Gillian allowed two runs in the seventh before getting a strikeout to end the game.
Koby Silvy (2-3) was saddled with the defeat after giving up eight runs (three earned) on six hits in two-plus innings of work.
Walters State's next game will be an exhibition contest Wednesday night against the Tennessee Smokies at Smokies Stadium in Kodak, with the game set for seven innings and beginning at 7 p.m.
The next regular season games will be at Cleveland State next weekend, as the Senators take on the Cougars in a three-game TCCAA series beginning with a single game on Friday and concluding with a doubleheader on Saturday.