LYNCHBURG – The Motlow Bucks look to continue their excellent start to the college baseball season when they host Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) rival Volunteer State this weekend at the Driver Baseball Complex.
The Bucks (10-4) will host the Pioneers (6-3) in a single game at 2 p.m. on Friday and a doubleheader that begins at noon on Saturday. The series is the TCCAA opener for both teams.
The Bucks have won six of their previous eight games, with the only two losses coming to Lawson State in a doubleheader played in Birmingham last Sunday.
Motlow won two out of three games against visiting Glen Oaks, Mich., on Feb. 7 and 8, winning the opener 8-1 and the second game 10-0 before falling in the series finale 4-0. Josh Hopkins got the win on the mound in game one, tossing five innings with seven strikeouts and no runs allowed. Nathan Hammer pitched the final three innings to earn his first save. The Bucks banged out nine hits, including doubles by Chris Adams and Luke Toms.
Game two saw the Bucks score seven in the bottom of the sixth inning to 10-run rule the visitors. Elliott Bush pitched a complete game shutout, allowing only one hit with seven strikeouts. Adams, Toms and Clayton Palicki all homered for Motlow. In game three the Bucks managed only two hits, with Palicki taking the loss on the mound.
Motlow traveled to Rome, Ga., on Feb. 10 and swept a doubleheader from Shorter College 4-0, 8-3. Sean Davis won the opener on the mound, allowing four hits in five innings of work. Hammer picked up his second save with two hitless innings. Toms had two hits, including a double, and Ben Holland doubled and drove in a run.
Shorter committed seven errors in game two, allowing the Bucks to score multiple unearned runs. Matt Sharp pitched four innings and got the win, with Zach Westberry and Hayden Bailey each allowing a run in relief. Toms and Darren White each had two hits and stole a base.
The Bucks swept Wallace State 9-1, 2-0 in Hanceville, Ala., on Feb. 15. Hopkins picked up his second win by tossing a complete game four-hitter in the opener. Logan Conley homered for the Bucks, leading nine different players who each had one run batted in.
Game two against Wallace saw Bush pitch another complete game shutout, striking out six batters and allowing only four hits. Adams and Toms each slammed doubles, and Nick Chambers drove in a run along with Toms.
Lawson State ended Motlow’s modest winning streak with a 6-3, 4-3 sweep on Sunday, Feb. 16, with the second game called due to darkness in the sixth inning. Hammer took the loss in relief of Davis in game one, and Cole Thiede led the Bucks’ offense with three hits and an RBI.
Palicki took the loss on the mound for Motlow in game two, despite scattering eight hits and striking out four. Devon Dager had two hits for the Bucks and Conley, Toms and Thiede each drove in a run.
The Bucks got back on the winning track Monday when they swept the Martin Methodist JV squad 10-8, 12-0 at the Driver Baseball Complex. The Bucks overcame a 7-5 deficit in the opener with four runs in the bottom of the fourth as Adams hit a two-run homer and Holland singled in the go-ahead run. Westberry got the win in relief of Peyton Phillips by pitching three innings of four-hit relief. Bailey pitched the final inning for his first save. Toms added a home run and had three hits, while Holland and Thiede had two hits each.
Game two featured a sparkling one-hit shutout by Sharp as the Bucks scored six runs in the first inning and coasted to the sweep. Adams and Conley each had three hits and White, Chambers and JC Daily added two hits each. Conley hit a home run and Adams slammed two doubles.
–Motlow College Sports Information