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Runion hits for the cycle as No. 5 Senators pound Tusculum JV

Runion hits for the cycle as No. 5 Senators pound Tusculum JV

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — In the final non-conference tune-up game of the season, the fifth-ranked Walters State Senators put together a solid outing on the road in trouncing the Tusculum junior varsity squad, 23-1, at Pioneer Park.


The Senators (44-8) used nine different pitchers to combine on a five-hitter, with three of those hits coming in the final two frames of a nine-inning contest, while the combination of Zebby Matthews (5-2), Drew Vaden, Kody Davidson, Jack Collins, Zach Joyce, Dillon Phillips, Blake Petty, Jacob Jennings and Andrew Lindsey struck out 11 Pioneers and issued five walks in the win.


Walters State's offense was clicking too, recording 25 hits and posting four innings with multiple runs, including an 11-run eighth inning that doubled the previous seven innings of production. Braydon Runion was the catalyst, hitting for the cycle with his eight home run of the season while driving in four runs in the win.


JL Bland, Jerry Hammons and Xavier Arnette each added three hits, while Seth Gardner, Alex Bibb and Jennings had two hits apiece. Jennings, Gardner and Brayden Combs all belted doubles for Walters State, with Combs also driving in four runs, Jennings plating three runs, Bland and Gardner both driving in a pair and Hammons, Bibb, Arnette, Michael Robinson and Max Reimer each adding an RBI in the contest.


The Senators scored five runs in the first, gave up a run in the third, added two in the fifth, another in the sixth and three in the seventh before the explosion in the eighth and a single run in the ninth to provide the 22-run margin of victory. Coupled with 22-0 victory over the Pioneers on Feb. 27, WSCC outscored Tusculum's JV team 45-1 in two games this season spanning 18 innings.


Chris Iltshishin had a pair of hits in the loss, with Wes Reynolds driving in the only run of the game for the Pioneers.


The Senators (18-3 TCCAA) will host their biggest Tennessee Community College Athletic Association series of the season this weekend when they welcome second place Motlow State (35-12, 16-5 TCCAA) to Ken Campbell Field for a three-game series looking to sew up another TCCAA regular season title. The first game is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday before a doubleheader closes out the regular season on Saturday at noon. WSCC needs just one win to clinch the championship.