COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Fourth-ranked Walters State allowed just two runs on three hits in Saturday evening road Tennessee Community College Athletic Association baseball doubleheader against Columbia State at Dave Hall Field, but the Senators could only manage a split of the two-game series after Friday's nine-inning game was canceled due to rain.
The Senators (43-8, 18-3 TCCAA) moved a step closer to back-to-back regular season TCCAA titles by taking the opening game of the evening, 12-1, in six innings before dropping a 1-0 decision to the Chargers (16-25, 10-12 TCCAA) in the nightcap despite allowing just two hits in the game. The defeat kept WSCC from clinching at least a tie for the league crown with three games left on the region slate.
Alex Haynes (8-2) was dominant in the opener, allowing one earned run on one hit while fanning eight and walking three in six innings of work. He was backed up by the Senator offense putting up a run in the second and three more in the third for the Chargers cut it to 4-1 after three. WSCC added four runs in both the fourth and sixth frames to close the scoring and win the game by the mercy rule.
Braydon Runion paced the Walters State offensive attack with three hits in the win, including a home run and a double, while driving in two runs in the contest. Bryce Hodge added two hits with a double and three RBIs, while Drew Haynie, Brayden Combs, JL Bland and Xavier Arnette all had a hit in the win. Bland drove in three runs, Combs added a pair of RBIs and Michael Robinson brought in a run in the victory.
Luis Rodriguez (3-2) was the first of four pitchers for the Chargers, and he was tagged with the loss after giving up eight runs (seven earned) on six hits. Dorian Berry had the lone hit for Columbia State, an RBI single in the third frame.
The nightcap and series finale was a pitcher's duel between Walters State's Corey Stone and Columbia State's Brandon Johnson.
Stone didn't figure into the decision after leaving the game with it scoreless after five innings. He allowed just one hit and struck out six while walking three before Kody Davidson (6-1) entered in the sixth inning and faced a bases loaded and no out jam and allowed just one run to score.
WSCC could not answer the run though in the seventh, as Brandon Johnson (2-0) finished off a complete-game shutout, striking out 12 batters and giving up two hits and a walk in the win.
Combs and Mason Streater both singled in the loss. Dorian Berry singled for the Chargers, and he later scored the game-winning run in the sixth frame. David Wilson doubled in the win.
The Senators will be back on the diamond this weekend with the final TCCAA series of the regular season against second place Motlow State at Ken Campbell Field. WSCC will host the Bucks on Friday for a single game at 3 p.m. before finishing the regular season with a doubleheader on Saturday set to start at noon.