Contact: Dan McShea
Head Baseball Coach
June 20, 2012
Former Motlow Bucks first baseman/designated hitter Tyler Murphy continues to receive honors following his record-setting 2012 season. In addition to being named a first team All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association, Murphy has also been awarded the Rawlings NJCAA Big Stick Award. The award is presented annually to the top hitter in each of the nation's 10 districts. Murphy led the East Central District with a .463 average during the regular season.
Murphy will continue his college baseball career at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee. See the picture.
June 12, 2012
Motlow Bucks first baseman/designated hitter Tyler Murphy was recently named first team All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). He becomes only the second Motlow player in school history to be named to the first team. Pitcher Mark Shuler received the same honor following the 1978 season.
Tyler Murphy becomes Motlow's first baseball first team All-American since 1978. Motlow College photo.
May 10, 2012
The Motlow Bucks made a spirited run in the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament this week in Chattanooga, winning a pair of games and losing a heartbreaker, before injuries and the Walters State Senators ended Motlow's season with a 34-26 record.
The Bucks opened the tournament beating Cleveland State 7-6 in a 'play-in' game on Sunday and led Walters State 5-3 heading to the bottom of the ninth inning on Monday before the Senators scored three runs and won 6-5.
Motlow then bounced back to beat Chattanooga State 8-5 on Tuesday before dropping the season finale on Wednesday 11-0 to Walters State. Walters State will play Columbia State for the conference championship on Thursday with a second game Friday if necessary.
Injuries affect Bucks lineup
Bucks head coach Dan McShea was disappointed with the final loss, but proud of his team's effort during the week in Chattanooga.
"We just couldn't seem to get anything going today (Wednesday)," said McShea. "Give Walters State a lot of credit though because they came out and executed very well. There's a reason why they've won almost 50 games and have been ranked in the top ten all season.
"When you're missing one of the top players in the state in the middle of the lineup it is tough to overcome against such a good team," continued McShea. "We left too many runners on base throughout the tournament and that cost us."
The missing player was sophomore Tyler Murphy, who sustained a broken finger on Tuesday when he was hit by a Chattanooga State pitch. Murphy led the TCCAA conference in both home runs and batting average during the regular season.
The Bucks also lost Hayden Pewitt to an injury on Wednesday when he was struck in the face by a pitch in the top of the fourth inning. The game was delayed for 15 minutes while medical personnel tended to Pewitt, who suffered injuries to his mouth and face.
"Hayden got hit in the jaw by the pitch and it knocked a tooth out," added the coach. "He had a pretty good cut on his cheek but it didn't appear that anything was broken. Further tests showed no concussion and no breaks. An inch or two either way could have been very serious, so we are thankful that Hayden is going to be okay."
Walters State 11 Motlow 0
Without both sluggers the Bucks were no match for the Senators, who slammed three home runs in the game. Walters State led 3-0 after two innings, 5-0 after three, 7-0 after five, and 11-0 after six. The game ended after the Bucks batted in the top of the seventh inning due to the 10-run rule.
Brett Guzay had two of the Bucks hits, with Brandon Johnston and Thomas Lundborg also adding base hits. Shaw Dickerson started the game on the mound for the Bucks and took the loss, getting relief help from Tanner Moulder and Logan Dietz.
Motlow 8 Chattanooga State 5
Tuesday against Chattanooga State the Bucks fell behind early, battled back to take the lead, fell behind again, and then scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take the lead for good.
Josh Dotson got the win for Motlow after relieving starter Brandon Reynolds in the second inning. Dotson pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing only six hits and one earned run. Tanner Moulder got the final two outs to pick up the save.
The Bucks could only manage a Murphy single in the first two innings before scoring a run in the bottom of the third to cut the Chattanooga lead to 3-1. Brett Mansfield and Guzay both singled and advanced a base on a wild pitch. Guzay scored on a ground ball but Mansfield was thrown out at the plate.
Motlow gained its first lead of the game with three runs in the fourth inning. Kilgore Gailmard opened the inning with a single, followed by walks to both Pewitt and Thomas Lundborg. Gailmard scored on a wild pitch with both Pewitt and Lundborg advancing a base. Mansfield singled with two outs to drive in Pewitt, and Guzay followed with a single to drive home Lundborg with the final run of the inning, giving Motlow a 4-3 lead after four innings.
The Tigers tied the score with a run in the top of the seventh inning before the Bucks rallied for four in the bottom half of the seventh. Andre' Solomon singled with one out and stole second, then scored the first run of the inning on a Brandon Johnston single.
Johnston advanced to second on another wild pitch, and then scored on a Gailmard single to increase the Motlow lead to 6-3. Pewitt then singled to drive in Gailmard, and Lundborg followed with a double to move Pewitt to third. Pewitt then closed the scoring for Motlow by racing home on a passed ball.
The Tigers got two runners on in the ninth before Moulder came on to end the threat and give the Bucks the win, extending their stay in Chattanooga another day.
Walters State 6 Motlow 5
Monday's 6-5 loss to the Senators was difficult to accept as the Bucks outplayed Walters State the entire contest. Motlow led 2-0, only to see the Senators come back and grab a 3-2 lead. The Bucks fought their way back to a 5-3 lead but couldn't hold it as Walters State rallied for three runs in the ninth to steal the win and advance in the loser's bracket.
May 7, 2012
The Walters State Senators scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to hand the Motlow Bucks a heartbreaking 6-5 defeat in the opening round of the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament in Chattanooga on Monday. Motlow will face the loser of the Chattanooga State/Dyersburg State game on Tuesday at 9 a.m. central time.
The #7 seed Bucks (33-25) out-hit the #2 seed Senators 13-10 but stranded 16 runners. Walters State pinch-hitter Josh Coker drove in Marcus Davis with the winning run after Davis drove in two runs with a double to tie the score at 5-5 in the ninth.
Jacob Honea started for Motlow on the mound, pitching six innings and allowing three runs. He left with his team trailing 3-2 as reliever Logan Dietz took over in the seventh inning and allowed only one hit in his two innings of work.
Andre' Solomon gave up two hits to open the ninth inning and was relieved by Joey Falletta, who took the loss by allowing Davis' double and Coker's game winner.
Walters State committed four errors in the game, allowing three of Motlow's runs to score unearned, while the Bucks only had one error.
The two teams were scoreless until the third inning when Brandon Johnston reached first base on a Senators' error with two outs, then stole second base. Kilgor Gailmard's single drove in Johnston, with Gailmard reaching second base on the throw to home. Hayden Pewitt drove in Gailmard with a single and the Bucks led 2-0.
Walters State took advantage of a walk and two passed balls in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the score at 2-2. The Senators added a run in the bottom of the sixth to take a 3-2 lead and chase Honea from the mound after he threw 119 pitches, striking out four and walking five.
The Bucks grabbed the lead back in the seventh when Ryan Huber singled and Brett Guzay was hit by a pitch. Huber scored on an errant pick-off attempt by the Senators' pitcher and Huber scored on an error in the Walters State outfield.
Kilgor Gailmard, Tyler Murphy, and Ryan Huber then pieced together singles, with Gailmard scoring the fifth and final run for Motlow.
Pewitt went 3-5 and drove in a pair of runs for the Bucks, while Johnston, Murphy, and Thomas Lundborg each had two hits.
May 6, 2012
Kilgore Gailmard's two-out single in the bottom of the eighth inning drove home Andre' Solomon with the winning run as the Motlow Bucks opened the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament with a 7-6 win over Cleveland State.
The Bucks (33-24) will face the #2 seeded Walters State Senators Monday morning at 9am central time. Watch the tournament live here:
TCCAA/Region VII Tournament Bracket
April 30, 2012
The Motlow Bucks were swept in a three-game series this weekend at Volunteer State. The Pioneers won Friday's opening game 13-7, and swept Saturday's doubleheader 8-4, 8-4. The Bucks enter the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament as the #8 seed and will face #9 Cleveland State on Sunday, May 6 at noon eastern in Chattanooga.
Motlow scored two runs in the first inning of game one in Gallatin, but the Pioneers stormed back to score two in the first, one in the third, and five in the fourth. Jacob Honea took the loss for Motlow on the mound. Brandon Johnston drove in three runs and Tyler Murphy had a pair of hits including a double.
Saturday's first game saw the Pioneers jump on Bucks' starter Josh Mann for three runs in the first inning. The Bucks scored four in the fifth, including Tyler Murphy's 18th home run of the season, but it was not enough to overcome the Pioneers. Andre' Solomon was 2-4 and Murphy went 2-3 with two RBIs.
The series finale found the Bucks leading 4-2 before the home team scored six runs the fifth inning against Motlow starter Josh Dotson. Both Johnston and Kilgore Gailmard had two hits and two RBIs.
April 23, 2012
Sophomore slugger Tyler Murphy slammed four home runs and drove in 10 run during the weekend to lead the Motlow Bucks to a 2-1 TCCAA conference series win over visiting Roane State at the Driver Baseball Complex in Moore County.
The two teams split a doubleheader on Friday, with the Bucks winning the opener 14-2 and the Raiders capturing the nightcap 9-3. Motlow came back strong on Saturday, winning the series finale 11-2.
The Bucks (30-20, 9-15) are scheduled to host Covenant College on Monday and Wallace State on Tuesday for the final home games of the 2012 season. Fans will be given free Motlow promotional items Monday, including megaphones, pom poms, and stress balls.
Motlow will travel to Gallatin this coming weekend to close out the regular season with a three game conference series against Volunteer State. The TCCAA/Region VII Tournament begins May 6 at Chattanooga State.
Murphy hit two of his homers in the series opener Friday as the Bucks steamrolled the Raiders in five innings. Kenneth Perkey also homered, while starting pitcher Jacob Honea (5-4) scattered three hits and allowed only one earned run.
Brandon Johnston was 2-2 with a pair of RBIs and three runs scored as the Bucks scored three runs in the first inning, five in the second, three more in the third, and the final three on Murphy's second homer in the fifth to invoke the 10-run rule and end the game.
Friday's second game was scoreless until the third inning when the Raiders plated three runs against Bucks' starter Josh Mann (4-6). Defensive lapses cost the Bucks as Mann only allowed one earned run in his 3.2 innings of work.
Roane State added two more runs in the fourth inning but the Bucks responded with two of their own as Brett Guzay's sacrifice fly drove in Perkey and Will Trice's single scored Zach White. Logan Dietz relieved Mann in the fourth, but the Raiders got eight hits and three earned runs off Dietz.
The Raiders added a single run in the fifth and seventh innings and two more in the sixth to end the Bucks' hopes of a series sweep. Kilgore Gailmard went 3-4 with a solo home run and a double, and Perkey was 2-3 with a double.
Saturday's single game, like Friday's second contest, was scoreless entering the third inning as Motlow starting pitcher Josh Dotson (2-4) was sharp on the mound in the first seven innings and Joey Falletta pitched the final two innings of hitless relief. The Bucks, led by Murphy, changed all that in the third inning.
Guzay opened by reaching on an error and stealing second base. He scored on a single by Trice, who then moved to third on a single by Johnston. Gailmard then hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Trice, giving the Bucks a 2-0 lead.
Murphy then slammed his third home run of the series to give Motlow a 4-0 lead. The Bucks weren't finished in the inning though as Perkey singled and scored on Brett Mansfield's double. Mansfield scored the sixth and final run of the inning on a groundout by Thomas Lundborg.
The Bucks added two more runs in the fourth as Johnston doubled and Murphy connected on his second home run of the game and fourth in the series. The Phenix City, Ala. slugger now has 17 home runs on the season, which is second in the nation among junior college baseball players.
Motlow added three more runs in the sixth inning as Guzay again got things started with a single, then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After a Johnston walk, Gailmard singled home Guzay and Perkey drove home Johnston. The final run scored as Mansfield drove home Gailmard with a single.
Murphy's 17 home runs ties him for fourth on the all-time Motlow College single season home run record list, joining Jason Baker who hit 17 in 1992. Joshua Arteaga holds the all-time record with 27 homers in the 2000 season when the Bucks advanced to the Junior College World Series.
Murphy was 8-11 for the weekend with four home runs, 11 RBIs and five runs scored. Perkey went 4-9 with a homer, four RBIs and four runs scored. Gailmard was 5-10 with four RBIs and four runs scored and also added a home run.
April 17, 2012
With only six TCCAA conference games remaining the Motlow Bucks are in need of wins, and they have an excellent opportunity to pick up three this weekend when they host the Roane State Raiders in a three-game series at the Driver Baseball Complex.
The two teams will square off Friday in a single, nine-inning game scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon's doubleheader will begin at noon, with each game scheduled for seven innings. Admission is free at all Motlow College athletic events.
The Bucks (28-19, 7-14) are coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of Dyersburg State last weekend in Dyersburg. The losses dropped Motlow into a tie with Cleveland State for eighth place in the TCCAA standings.
Roane State (6-23, 3-18) felt the sting of a sweep last weekend as well; dropping three games to Volunteer State, and have struggled all season to play consistent, winning baseball.
Motlow is only one game behind Southwest Tennessee (8-13, 16-28) in the conference standings and three games behind Volunteer State (10-11, 24-18). The Bucks will close out the regular season against the Pioneers next weekend with a three-game series in Gallatin.
The TCCAA conference tournament will be played in Chattanooga this year beginning May 5 with a pair of play-in contests. The four teams that finish at the bottom of the standings will play each other first, with the two winners advancing to the tournament, which begins May 6.
Conference leaders Columbia State (34-7, 18-3) and Walters State (38-5, 17-4) are both ranked in the top ten nationally by the National Junior College Athletic Association, with the Chargers listed fifth and the Senators ranked ninth in the latest poll.
April 12, 2012
The Motlow Bucks hope to take the momentum of winning six of their previous seven games into Dyersburg this weekend when they face TCCAA opponent Dyersburg State in a critical three-game conference series. Friday's single game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader is set to start at noon.
The Bucks' (28-16, 7-11) most recent victories came Monday when they traveled to Rome, Georgia and swept non-conference opponent Shorter University 4-0, 3-2. The games were originally scheduled for March 12 but were postponed due to wet field conditions.
The Bucks are currently tied with both Volunteer State and Cleveland State in the conference standings with 7-11 records, while Dyersburg State is 8-10. Columbia State leads the conference with a 16-2 record.
April 9, 2012
Sophomore catcher Taylor Follis raced home with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday to give the Motlow Bucks a 9-8 win over the visiting Cleveland State Cougars at the Driver Baseball Complex.
The victory came on the heels of a wild Friday doubleheader split between the two TCCAA rivals that featured extra innings in both games, with the visitors winning the opener 5-3 in eight innings and the Bucks coming back from a 6-1 deficit to win the nightcap 7-6 in 12 innings.
Motlow (26-16, 7-11) will visit Shorter University in Rome, Georgia on Monday before returning to conference play with a three-game series at Dyersburg State this weekend. The Bucks are now tied in the TCCAA standings with Cleveland State (23-15, 7-11).
The Bucks had a golden opportunity to sweep the series as they headed to the final inning in game one Friday leading 3-1. Defensive letdowns, as evidenced by the six errors Motlow committed in the game, led to two Cougar runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game and send it to an extra inning.
Jacob Honea was outstanding as the starting pitcher for the Bucks, hurling six-and-a-third innings and allowing only one hit and three walks. Two runs were charged to Honea but neither was earned. Logan Dietz (2-1) took the loss, giving up a two-run homer in the eighth inning.
The Bucks took a 1-0 lead in the fifth as Kenneth Perkey was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a ground out, and scored on an RBI single by Thomas Lundborg. After Cleveland tied the score in the sixth the Bucks came right back with two more runs to take a 3-1 lead as Perkey, who now has 32 RBIs on the season, drove in both Brett Mansfield and Will Trice with a two-out single.
In the bottom of the seventh, leading 3-1 and two outs away from victory, the Motlow defense fell apart. Three errors and two Cleveland runs later the Bucks lead had vanished and the stage was set for the visitors' game winning home run.
Motlow starting pitcher Josh Mann allow only one hit through the first four innings of Friday's second game, yet the Bucks trailed 3-1 due to bases on balls, wild pitches, and defensive errors.
Trailing 6-1 in the sixth inning, Motlow's Cory Mitchell slammed a solo home run, his fourth of the season, to cut the Cleveland lead to 6-2. Andre' Solomon, who relieved Mann in the sixth, allowed only one hit over four innings to give his team an opportunity to win.
The Bucks took advantage of that opportunity in the seventh. Follis walked and Brett Guzay reached on an error. Ryan Huber singled, scoring Follis and moving Guzay to second. Brandon Johnston then singled, scoring Guzay and moving Huber to second.
Mitchell reached on a fielder's choice as Huber was thrown out a third. However, both Johnston and Mitchell moved up a base on a passed ball. Solomon ran for Mitchell and Johnston scored on a passed ball to pull Motlow within a run. Murphy then drove in his 38th run of the season with a single to send the game into extra innings.
Tanner Moulder (3-0) relieved Solomon in the ninth inning and pitched the final 2.2 innings to get the win. He and Solomon combined to pitch seven innings, allowing only two hits and no runs with seven strikeouts.
Despite leaving a dozen runners stranded during the game, Guzay's 12th inning single earned Motlow the split and set the stage for Saturday's thriller.
Cleveland State jumped on Motlow starter Josh Dotson for three runs in the top of the first inning, but the Bucks offense responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Kent Voorhies had an RBI single in the inning, but most of Motlow's offense came as a result of Cleveland State errors and bases on balls.
The Cougars scored four in the top of the third inning to take a 7-4 lead, but the Bucks came back with a run in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 7-5. Zach White doubled and scored on Guzay's single and a Cleveland error.
Shaw Dickerson relieved Dotson in the sixth and pitched 2.1 innings, scattering three hits and allowing one run. Motlow tied the score in the sixth inning as Huber singled, Johnston was hit by a pitch, and Kilgore Gailmard drove home Huber with a single. Perkey then drove home Johnston to tie the score at seven.
The Bucks scored a run in the seventh inning, only to see the Cougars once again tie the score with a run in the eighth. Joey Falletta (4-1) came on to pitch for Motlow and snuffed out the rally in the eighth and held the Cougars scoreless in the ninth, setting the stage for yet another Motlow game-winning rally.
Follis led off with a walk and advanced to second base on a White sacrifice. Huber singled up the middle, moving Follis to third and finally home to score as Cleveland's second baseman committed the error at just the right time for the home team.
April 4, 2012
The Motlow Bucks have an opportunity to make a significant move upwards in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings this weekend when they host conference rival Cleveland State in a three-game series at the Driver Baseball Complex.
Thursday's nine-inning single game opener has been moved to Saturday at noon and Friday's doubleheader is scheduled to start at noon. Conference weekend series are traditionally on Friday and Saturday, but due to the Easter holiday this weekend's action was moved up one day.
The Bucks (24-15, 5-10) and the Cougars (22-13, 6-9) are bunched together in the middle of the conference standings, and whichever team wins the series will have a leg up on a higher seed in the upcoming TCCAA/Region VII Tournament, scheduled to begin May 6 in Chattanooga.
The Bucks are coming off a 13-3, 6-2 home sweep of non-conference opponent Bryan College on Monday, raising their home record to 17-6 for the season.
Game one saw the Bucks score at least one run in every inning, with the five runs in the bottom of the fifth ending the contest due to the 10-run rule. Motlow had 13 hits, including two each by Andre' Solomon, Brett Mansfield, Tyler Murphy, and Taylor Follis.
Former Tullahoma Wildcat Chase Morris (1-0) had his best day on the pitcher's mound, scattering six hits and allowing only one earned run with a pair of strikeouts. Shaw Dickerson hit his second home run of the season, a two-run shot in the first inning that gave Motlow an early 3-0 lead.
Murphy drove in three runs and now has a team-high 37 RBIs on the season and also leads the Bucks with a .442 batting average. Mansfield had two doubles and three RBIs and has raised his average to .395.
Game two was a little closer, with both teams scoring a run in the first inning before Motlow grabbed the lead with two runs in the second. The visitors inched closer with a run in the fourth before the Bucks scored three runs in the fifth to seal the victory.
Brandon Reynolds (3-0) was the winning pitcher, allowing only one hit and one earned run in his three innings of work. Tanner Moulder pitched the next three innings and allowed only two hits and one earned run, and Barry Bartlett tossed the final inning without allowing a base runner.
Ryan Huber, Will Trice, and Chase Denton each had two hits, with Trice and Denton joining Kent Voorhies and Thomas Lundborg in slamming doubles. Huber stole a base and now leads the Bucks with eight thefts.
April 2, 2012
Sophomore pitcher Josh Mann allowed only two hits and registered a dozen strikeouts in six innings of work as the Motlow Bucks beat the Chattanooga State Tigers 3-0 Saturday afternoon in the second game of a TCCAA doubleheader played in Chattanooga.
The Tigers won game one 7-0 on Saturday, then won the series by beating the Bucks 12-2 on Sunday. Motlow will step outside the conference to host Bryan College on Monday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader, and then host Cleveland State for a three-game TCCAA series this weekend.
The Bucks (22-15, 5-10) successfully avoided the sweep against the Tigers (30-10, 11-4), one of the conference's top teams and the 35th-ranked team in the nation in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll.
Mann (4-4) was simply outstanding, maneuvering his way around six walks to notch his second consecutive victory. After being honored last week as the TCCAA Pitcher of the Week, Mann showed his stamina by enduring a 90-minute rain delay between the third and fourth innings. Andre' Solomon earned his first save of the season by pitching a perfect seventh inning.
The Bucks scored single runs in the second, third, and seventh innings. Brett Guzay was 2-3 and scored twice, while Brandon Johnston also had two hits and drove in a run. Kilgore Gailmard and Brett Mansfield also drove in runs for the Bucks.
Motlow's dominance in game two was a solid response to the Tigers' game one shutout, where the Bucks managed only two hits, one by Solomon and one by Hayden Pewitt. Jacob Honea (3-2) took the loss on the mound for the Bucks, allowing four earned runs in three-plus innings.
A bright spot for the Bucks was the continued strong relief pitching of Logan Dietz, who allowed only two hits and no runs over the final two-and-a-third innings.
Sunday's final game of the series saw the home team take advantage of every opportunity to pull away from the Bucks after Motlow had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Shaw Dickerson (3-2) took the loss on the mound for the Bucks as Chattanooga State scored seven runs in the bottom of the third inning, then invoked the ten-run rule with five more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Motlow's other run came in the sixth.
Tyler Murphy was 3-4 at the plate for the Bucks, including a double, and drove in one of Motlow's runs while Kenneth Perkey had the other RBI and Johnston had two of the Bucks eight hits.
March 27, 2012
The Motlow Bucks brought out the heavy lumber Monday afternoon in Pulaski, exploding for 32 runs in a 14-6, 18-7 sweep of Martin Methodist in a baseball doubleheader.
"We had another great day at the plate today," said Bucks head coach Dan McShea. "We had 16 different players with hits, including 13 with multiple hits and 14 with runs batted in. We still have to improve defensively though and get more consistent on the mound."
The Bucks (21-13, 4-8) will return to TCCAA conference play this weekend when they travel to Chattanooga to face the Chattanooga State Tigers (27-9, 9-3) in a three-game series. Friday's single game begins at 1 p.m. central time, with Saturday's doubleheader scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
"Chattanooga State is off to another great start this season," continued the coach. "It was great to get a lot of guys some game experience against Martin. That is going to pay off for us down the road."
Kenneth Perkey was the hitting star for the Bucks in game one Monday afternoon, slamming two home runs and driving in four. Perkey is second on the squad with five homers and 29 runs batted in for the season.
The Bucks fell behind 4-2 after three innings but scored two runs to tie the score in the top of the fourth. Logan Dietz (2-0) relieved starter Chase Morris in the fourth and allowed only two hits and one run over the next three innings. Meanwhile, the Bucks offense exploded for seven runs in the fifth inning and three more in the seventh.
Brandon Johnston was 3-5 with three RBIs, Thomas Lundborg was 3-4, Barry Bartlett was 2-2 with two runs batted in, and Andre' Solomon was 2-4 with a pair of runs batted in.
Game two was basically over after the Bucks scored 11 runs in the top of the first inning. Among the hitting stars for the Bucks was Kilgore Gailmard and Kent Voorhies, who each had a double, a home run, and five runs batted in.
Brett Guzay was 3-4 with a double and a triple, Ryan Huber went 2-4 with a double and two RBIs, Brett Mansfield was 3-3 with two doubles, and Will Trice went 2-4 with a double and an RBI.
Brandon Reynolds (2-0) got the win on the mound for Motlow, tossing three innings of no-hit baseball while striking out two and walking five. Tanner Moulder gave up one hit in his inning of work.
The sweep in Pulaski came on the heels of a three-game home series against conference leader Columbia State last weekend. The visiting Chargers won Saturday's opener 7-4 and Sunday's second game 10-2. The Bucks, behind an outstanding pitching performance by Josh Mann, won Sunday's opener 4-1.
The Chargers built a 4-0 lead on the Bucks through the first five innings of the series opener. However, in the bottom of the fifth Motlow's Tyler Murphy slammed his 10th home run of the season, a three-run shot that tied the score at four.
Motlow starter Jacob Honea (3-1) couldn't hold the lead though as shaky defense allowed three unearned runs to cross the plate, one in the sixth and two more in the seventh. Honea scattered seven hits in his five-plus innings of work. Dietz pitched the final inning in relief.
Sunday's opener against the Chargers featured Bucks sophomore Josh Mann (3-4) at his very best on the pitcher's mound. Mann hurled the full seven innings, allowing only four hits and one walk while striking out three.
"Josh Mann did a great job of pitching in this ballgame," said McShea. "We played very well all the way around. We put early runs on the board and were able to have good at bats early. When you have a shut-down pitcher like Josh, scoring early runs makes him that much better."
The Bucks gave Mann a cushion to work with, scoring single runs in the first and fourth innings and two runs in the third. Cory Mitchell slammed a solo home run, his third of the season, with Trice and Hayden Pewitt also driving in runs.
Sunday's finale was not a thing of beauty from Motlow's viewpoint. The Bucks committed five errors which allowed the Chargers to score five unearned runs. Shaw Dickerson (3-1) took the loss on the mound, despite allowing only seven hits in four innings.
"This weekend really was all about playing clean baseball," said McShea. "In each game the losing team made several errors. Columbia State has a good team and good pitching so it's imperative that we play clean baseball in order to beat them. Columbia did a better job than us of that this weekend."
March 22, 2012
The Motlow Bucks have an opportunity to make a significant move in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings this weekend when they face conference leader Columbia State in a three-game series at the Driver Baseball Complex.
Friday's nine-inning opener is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader will start at noon. There is no admission charge for Motlow athletic events. Fans can follow Motlow athletic events in progress on Twitter by following @MoltowSports.
The Bucks (18-11, 3-6) are coming off a 12-2, 20-10 sweep of Martin Methodist on Monday, raising their home record to 14-4 for the season. Motlow has won 17 of its previous 23 contests since opening the season with a 1-5 record.
The Chargers (17-4, 9-0) also had a rough start to their season, losing their first three games to Gordon College. Since then Columbia's only loss has been to Wallace State, a team that swept Motlow in a doubleheader back in February.
Motlow has been led offensively by Phenix City, Ala. sophomore power hitter Tyler Murphy, who is currently tied for fourth in the nation with nine home runs and 25th in the nation with 29 runs batted in. Murphy also leads the Bucks' regulars with a .471 batting average and a slugging percentage of .914.
Murfreesboro freshman Cory Mitchell has been hot at the plate recently, raising his batting average to .442. Mitchell is tied for 25th nationally with 10 doubles and has driven in 18 runs. His slugging percentage of .814 is second on the team.
Madison, Ala. sophomore Kenneth Perkey is another key ingredient of the Bucks' resurgent offense. His 25 RBIs is second to Murphy, as is his three home runs. He has nine doubles on the season and is hitting .377 on the year.
The Bucks have been led on the mound recently by Tullahoma redshirt freshman Jacob Honea, who sports a 3-0 record and leads the starting pitchers with a 2.91 earned-run average. Honea was named the Pitcher of the Week by the TCCAA last week. Newark, Ohio sophomore Josh Mann has also been a solid pitcher for the Bucks. His 4.22 ERA is second among starters and his total of 45 strikeouts is tied for 21st nationally.
Joey Falletta (3-1) and Shaw Dickerson (3-0) have also been efficient for the Bucks as starting pitchers, while Logan Dietz (1.23 ERA in seven appearances) has had success as a reliever. Falletta and Tanner Moulder lead the team with two saves each, with Moulder also sporting a 2-0 record.
The Chargers are led in hitting by Derrick Armstrong with a .446 average and 22 runs batted in. Columbia State has used a lot of pitchers this season, with D.W. Whitson sporting a 4-1 record with a 2.92 earned run average.
March 20, 2012
The Motlow Bucks hammered out 31 hits, including seven doubles and four home runs, and scored 32 runs on their way to a 12-2, 20-10 sweep over visiting Martin Methodist on Monday at the Driver Baseball Complex in Moore County.
The wins should help the Bucks (18-11, 3-6) as they prepare for this weekend's Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) series against conference leader Columbia State. Game one at the Driver Complex is Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader is set for 12 p.m.
"This was obviously a good day for us offensively," said head coach Dan McShea. "We did not pitch very well as a whole and we need to be more consistent in that aspect, but when we swing the bats like we did today we make up for mistakes on the mound and it's great to have that ability. Several guys had great days at the plate."
One of those guys was Tyler Murphy, who went 4-5 on the day, hit his ninth home run of the season, and added two runs batted in to his team-leading total of 29. Another was Brett Mansfield, who went 3-4 in game two with a double, a homer, and five RBIs.
Game one went all Motlow's way with solid pitching and error-free defense. Joey Falletta (3-1) got the win on the mound, tossing three innings and allowing only three hits with five strikeouts. The Bucks scored seven runs for Falletta in the first inning, and when he left after three his team held a commanding 9-1 lead.
Brandon Reynolds pitched the final two innings of the five-inning affair, allowing four hits with four strikeouts. Brandon Johnston was 2-2 with a double and RBI, Kent Voorhies went 2-3 and drove in a run, and Zach White went 2-3 with a double and two RBIs. Shaw Dickerson and Andre' Solomon each had hits and drove in two runs.
Dickerson started game two on the mound for Motlow, but from the outset the contest was destined to be a wild, offensively-dominated game. Tanner Moulder (2-0) recorded one out in the third inning and pitched a shutout fourth inning to pick up the win without allowing a hit.
Martin Methodist jumped out front first with two runs in the first inning and another in the second, but the Bucks' barrage began in the bottom of the second inning and didn't stop until they got their 10-run lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, forcing the game to end due to the 10-run rule after five innings.
In addition to Mansfield's monster game, other Bucks who stood out at the plate include Brett Guzay, who was 1-2 with a double and two RBIs, Ryan Huber went 3-4 with a home run and drove in four runs, Chase Denton was 3-4 with a double, and Jake Smiley went 3-3 with a home run and three runs batted in.
March 19, 2012
Redshirt freshman Jacob Honea scattered six hits and struck out five as the Motlow Bucks salvaged the final game of a TCCAA three-game series at Jackson State, beating the Generals 2-1 Saturday afternoon in Jackson.
The win came on the heels of a pair of losses in the first two games of the series, 9-5 Friday afternoon and 10-7 in Saturday's opening game. The Bucks (16-11, 3-6) will host Martin Methodist on Monday at noon in a doubleheader at the Driver Baseball Complex that was originally scheduled to be played in Pulaski.
"We did not play very well this weekend," said Bucks head coach Dan McShea. "We are at a point here where we need to figure out what kind of team we are going to be. We have gotten ourselves in a hole in conference play and now we have to fight our way out."
Friday's series opener saw the Bucks score three runs in the top of the first inning, only to allow Jackson two in the bottom of the inning and three more in the bottom of the second. The Generals (18-7, 7-2) put the Bucks away with four more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Josh Dotson (1-3) started on the mound and took the loss for Motlow, pitching into the third inning and allowing five runs. Andre' Solomon pitched 1.2 innings of relief followed by Shaw Dickerson, who pitched the final 3.2 innings. Dickerson was especially effective, allowing only one hit and striking out three.
Tyler Murphy, Chase Denton, and Hayden Pewitt each had two hits for the Bucks, with Murphy, Pewitt, and Kenneth Perkey driving in runs. Motlow committed three errors in the game, which allowed Jackson State to score four unearned runs.
"If we want to compete for a conference championship then we need to make some adjustments and stop having the same mistakes and allowing big innings," continued McShea. "We need to have a better approach at the plate and we must do a better job on the mound as a team."
Saturday's first game wasn't quite what McShea was looking for, although the Bucks did have some highlights. Tyler Murphy (8) and Mark Kelley (1) each hit home runs, with Kelley and Perkey driving in a pair of runs each.
Josh Mann (2-4) started on the mound for the Bucks. After allowing three first-inning runs he settled down and shut out the Generals until the fifth, when they plated five more runs. Mann allowed eight earned runs in his 4.2 innings, struck out five and walked two. Logan Dietz pitched the final 1.1 innings and allowed two runs, although neither was earned.
Game two on Saturday saw Honea (3-0), who pitched a number of playoff games for Tullahoma High School in his prep career, get his first opportunity to start a conference game for the Bucks. He didn't disappoint.
His complete game included five strikeouts and only one walk allowed as he lowered his season earned run average to 2.91. McShea was impressed with Honea's performance, especially since the Bucks had to have that kind of pitching performance in order to escape Jackson with a victory.
"Jacob Honea pitched a great game for us today," said McShea. "It is great to be able to get a win here when we did not hit the ball very well. He did a fantastic job in giving us a chance to win."
The Bucks had to come from behind in order to get the victory after trailing 1-0 in the first inning. Motlow scored single runs in the fourth and sixth innings, with Brandon Johnston going 2-4 with a double, one of only two hits for the Bucks, and Cory Mitchell driving in a run.
Motlow will host Columbia State (17-4, 9-0) in a critical TCCAA three-game series this weekend at the Driver Baseball Complex. The Chargers lead the conference, and McShea knows his team must play better in order to win.
"We have Columbia State coming in here next weekend and they sit at the top of the conference standings," he added. "We need to make the adjustments and start fighting our way out."
March 15, 2012
The Motlow Bucks got back on the winning track Wednesday with a 7-4, 10-0 sweep of visiting Shorter University at the Driver Baseball Complex in Moore County. The doubleheader had originally been scheduled for Monday at the Shorter campus in Rome, Ga. but was postponed due to wet field conditions.
"We were able to get some game experience for everyone in our dugout today," said head coach Dan McShea. "That is valuable experience when it comes to tournament time. Days like today are invaluable to developing younger players."
Motlow (15-9, 2-4) will step back into Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) play when it travels to Jackson this weekend for a three-game series against the Jackson State Generals. Friday's single game begins at 2 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader is scheduled for a noon start.
Shaw Dickerson (3-0) picked up the win in game one for the Bucks. Cory Mitchell, who entered the game batting .556 on the season, continued his hot hitting by slamming a home run and a double. Dickerson allowed only two hits and struck out three in his three innings. Brandon Reynolds pitched two innings and Tanner Moulder picked up the save by pitching the final two innings.
Jacob Honea (2-0) was dominant on the mound for the Bucks in game two. He allowed only one hit and struck out four in his two innings of work in the five inning contest. Andre' Solomon pitched the third and fourth innings, allowing only one hit and striking out five. Barry Bartlett pitched the final inning and allowed one hit.
Ryan Huber slammed a two-run homer while Brett Guzay was 2-2 with two RBIs, Kenneth Perkey added two RBIs, and Taylor Follis was 2-2 and drove in a run.
The Generals (16-6, 5-1) are off to a solid start to the season and are coming off their biggest offensive output of the year, a 15-2 win over Volunteer State on Sunday. They are hitting .350 as a team and have three different starting pitchers who have already won four games this season.
The Bucks will travel to Pulaski to face Martin Methodist in a doubleheader on Monday, with the first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m., then return home for a TCCAA series against Columbia State beginning Friday, Mar. 23 at 2 p.m.
March 12, 2012
The Motlow Bucks battled head-to-head with the nation's top-ranked team last weekend, but costly defensive mistakes and an inability to get the big hit when it was needed most helped enable Walters State to sweep a three-game conference series at the Driver Baseball Complex.
The Senators (20-2, 5-1) beat the Bucks 8-4 in Friday's nine inning opener, then returned on Saturday and edged Motlow 10-7, 5-4. All three games were close and competitive, and Bucks head coach Dan McShea knows his team must eliminate its mistakes in order to beat good teams like Walters State.
"We have to be able to limit our mistakes when we play teams like Walters State," said McShea. "If you give teams free base runners and extra runs they will make you pay. If we want to be successful in this league we will need to start tomorrow and out-work everyone else out there. We have the talent to do special things but we need to be able to execute in close games."
Motlow (13-9, 2-4) will not have time to dwell on its losses for long. The Bucks scheduled Monday doubleheader in Rome, Georgia against Shorter University was postponed until Wednesday and will be played at Motlow's Driver Baseball Complex. Motlow will travel to Jackson this weekend for a three-game series against TCCAA rival Jackson State.
Josh Dotson (1-2) started on the mound for Motlow in Friday's opener, shutting out the visitors until they scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning. He pitched six innings and allowed three earned runs. The Bucks answered when freshman Cory Mitchell slammed a two-run double to tie the score at two after four innings.
The Senators scored once in the fifth and twice in the sixth, but Motlow's Ryan Huber drove in a pair of runs with a double in the bottom of the sixth to pull the home team to within 5-4. Walters State added two runs in the eighth and another in the ninth for the final 8-4 margin. Joey Falletta pitched the final three innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out three.
Kendall Edmondson (2-2) started Saturday's first game for Motlow, and the Senators wasted little time in pushing a pair of runs across to take a 2-0 lead. Bucks slugger Tyler Murphy cut that lead in half though when he slammed a solo home run, his seventh of the season, in the top of the second inning. Murphy leads the Bucks with 24 RBIs on the season.
The visitors added two more runs to lead 4-1, but the Bucks once again rallied to pull within 4-3 and had the bases loaded in the fifth inning but couldn't plate any more runs.
A pair of two-run homers extended the Senators' lead to 8-3, but Brett Guzay and Hayden Pewitt had RBI singles to close the gap to 8-7 after five innings. The Bucks could get no closer though as the Senators scored their final three runs in the seventh inning.
Saturday's second game saw Josh Mann (2-3) get the start for the Bucks and pitch well enough to get a win, allowing only two earned runs and striking out nine in his seven innings. The Bucks led 2-0 after four innings, with Mitchell once again driving in both runs, but in the fifth Walters State scored four runs on a Motlow error and a wild pitch.
"Josh Mann pitched a great game on Saturday," added McShea. "We gave up some runs with mistakes defensively and we didn't do enough offensively when we had opportunities."
Motlow tied the score 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning as Walters State committed a pair of errors itself, but Senators slugger Marcus Davis hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning to seal the victory and complete the sweep.
Mitchell was 5-8 at the plate during the three games for the Bucks with three doubles and five runs batted in while Murphy was 3-10 with the home run. Guzay went 4-8 and had an RBI.
Motlow will remain on the road until Friday, Mar. 23 when it hosts Columbia State for a TCCAA three-game series at the Driver Complex. Friday's opener begins at 2 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader will start at noon at the Driver Baseball Complex.
March 7, 2012
Having won 12 of their previous 13 baseball contests, the Motlow Bucks will host the nation's top-ranked team this weekend when Walters State visits the Driver Baseball Complex for a three-game series.
Kenneth Perkey slammed three home runs as the Bucks swept Calhoun. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
March 4, 2012
The Motlow Bucks got off to a good start in TCCAA conference play by beating Southwest Tennessee two out of three games this weekend at the Driver Baseball Complex. Motlow won Saturday's contest 15-5, then won Sunday's second game 16-10 after dropping the opener 8-5
Motlow (10-6, 2-1) will host visiting John C. Calhoun Community College on Tuesday, Mar. 6 at noon for a doubleheader. The Bucks have currently won nine of their previous 10 contests.
March 4, 2012
Tyler Murphy slammed his sixth home run of the season and drove in five runs to lead the Motlow Bucks to a 15-5 win over Southwest Tennessee at the Driver Baseball Complex on Saturday. The three-game series opener was moved from Friday to Saturday due to inclement weather.
Motlow (9-5) has now won eight consecutive games after opening the season dropping five of its first six. The Bucks have scored 27 runs and pounded out 38 hits during its last two wins, adding the 12 runs and 18 hits from Thursday's 12-10 win over Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Motlow continues the Southwest series at noon on Sunday with a doubleheader at the Driver Baseball Complex. Admission is free to all Motlow College athletic events.
February 29, 2012
Entering Tuesday's home contest against Lawson State, the Motlow Bucks were the only team to have beaten the visitors this season, the only blemish on a 9-1 record. Now that record is 9-2 after the Bucks won their seventh consecutive game with a 17-3 rout.
The Bucks (8-5) are playing their best baseball as conference play opens with a three-game series this weekend at home against Southwest Tennessee. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday at the Driver Complex, with Saturday's doubleheader beginning at noon.
"We hit the ball very good today against an extremely talented Lawson State team," said head coach Dan McShea. "We did a great job offensively of not trying to do too much during each at-bat. We've hit the ball well the past three games."
Hitting it well is an understatement. Motlow had 18 hits and slammed four home runs. Four runs in the first inning was just the beginning for the Bucks, as they added single runs in the second and third before closing the door with seven runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth. The scheduled nine-inning game was ended after six-and-a-half due to the lead.
Alongside the offensive production has been excellent pitching, and Tuesday afternoon that was once again the case. Four hurlers combined to scatter only six hits, and after a two-run second inning, Lawson State could only manage one more run over the final five innings.
Sophomore Tyler Murphy continued to put up impressive numbers, going 3-3 with two home runs and four RBIs. Murphy is now hitting .467 with five home runs and 16 runs batted in for the season. Chase Denton was 4-4 with a home run and two RBIs, and Thomas Lundborg slammed a solo home run. Denton is hitting .567 on the season with 10 RBIs.
Will Trice had a three-run triple for the Bucks, and Kenneth Perkey and Brett Guzay each had a pair of hits and an RBI.
Kendall Edmondson (2-1) got the win by allowing only three hits and striking out a pair in three innings. He was followed by Josh Mann for two innings and Joey Falletta and Chase Morris each pitched scoreless innings. Morris has not allowed an earned run this season, and Mann lowered his earned run average to 0.63.
February 24, 2012
The Motlow Bucks (7-5, 0-0) extended their winning streak to six games with a 7-1, 6-1 sweep of Bryan College in Dayton on Thursday. The Bucks pounded out 28 hits during the two games, and their pitching shut down the home team.
The Bucks begin a nine game home stand when they host Lawson State on Tuesday, Feb. 28, with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. Southwest Tennessee visits next weekend to open TCCAA competition, with a single nine-inning game scheduled for Friday and a doubleheader Saturday at noon.
February 15, 2012
After a sluggish start to the 2012 baseball season, the Motlow Bucks (5-5, 0-0) have gained momentum with a four-game winning streak as they prepare to host visiting Jackson, Michigan Community College on Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Driver Baseball Complex. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
The latest victories came in Chattanooga on Monday as the Bucks swept Covenant College 5-0, 5-4. Those wins came on the heels of a 7-5, 10-6 sweep of visiting Vincennes, Indiana at home on Sunday.
Strong pitching has been the foundation of Motlow's resurgence. Sophomore Josh Mann (1-1), redshirt freshman Shaw Dickerson (1-0), and sophomore Kendall Edmondson (1-0) have all put up excellent numbers from the mound in the early going.
Mann has 12 strikeouts and has not allowed an earned run in 8 1/3 innings. Dickerson and Edmondson have each struck out nine batters in nine innings, and both have an earned run average of three per game.
At the plate the Bucks have been led by sophomore Tyler Murphy with a .407 batting average including three home runs, three doubles and 12 runs batted in. Freshman Chase Denton leads the team in hitting with a .429 average and also has three doubles and a home run.
Team speed is also a strength of this year's squad as evidenced by its total of 11 stolen bases in 14 attempts. Sophomore Ryan Huber leads the way with four steals in five attempts, while classmates Will Trice and Brandon Johnston have each been successful on both of their stolen base attempts.
The Bucks will open Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) play when they host Southwest Tennessee for a three-game series the first weekend in March. Friday's single game begins at 1 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader will start at noon. Admission is free to all Motlow athletic events.
February 14, 2012
The Motlow Bucks (5-5, 0-0) evened their season record and have now won four consecutive games following a 5-0, 5-4 sweep of Covenant College on Monday, Feb. 13 in Chattanooga. The Bucks will return to the Driver Baseball Complex to host visiting Jackson, Michigan Community College on Sunday, Feb. 19, with the first pitch of the doubleheader scheduled for 1 p.m.
February 13, 2012
The Motlow Bucks (3-5, 0-0) celebrated their home baseball opening day with a 7-5, 10-6 sweep of visiting Vincennes, Indiana on Sunday, Feb. 12 at the Driver Baseball Complex on the main Motlow campus in Moore County. The Bucks travel to Chattanooga on Monday, Feb. 13 to face Covenant College, then return to the Driver Complex to host Jackson, Michigan on Sunday, Feb. 19.
February 8, 2012
The Motlow Bucks will host the Vincennes University JV squad for a three-game series this weekend after opening the 2012 baseball season with three doubleheaders on the road in the state of Alabama.
The home opener, originally scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m., has been rescheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Driver Baseball Complex. The following day, Sunday, the Bucks host Vincennes at 12 p.m. for a doubleheader.
The Bucks have struggled early in the season, dropping five of their six early games in Alabama. Motlow fell to Wallace State in Hanceville 1-0, 8-0, and then split a doubleheader with Lawson State 4-2, 8-2 before being swept on Tuesday at Calhoun 2-1, 4-2.
"Our pitching has been really good," said Bucks head coach Dan McShea. "We haven't yet gotten the hits when we needed them to get rallies started, but if our pitching stays this solid we will be in good shape.
"Our defense on the other hand has got to do a better job," added the coach. "We gave up two unearned runs in each of the losses to Calhoun. If we are not going to hit the ball then we have to play great defense behind our pitchers."
Motlow will hit the road on Tuesday, Feb. 13, heading to Chattanooga to take on Covenant College at 1 p.m. central. The Bucks then return to the Driver Baseball Complex to face Jackson, Michigan Community College on Monday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m.
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February 6, 2012
The Motlow Bucks baseball team opened the 2012 season with a four-game swing through Alabama last week, breaking into the win column with a 4-1 victory over Lawson State in the first game of a doubleheader on Friday in Birmingham. The home team won the nightcap 8-2.
The season was originally scheduled to begin with that twinbill in Birmingham on Friday, and then continue in Hanceville against Wallace State on Saturday. However, due to expected rain in Hanceville on Saturday the doubleheader against Wallace State was moved up to Thursday, Feb. 2.
The Bucks didn't fare so well after being forced to travel a day early on short notice, falling to Wallace State 1-0, 8-0. Motlow will play at John C. Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama on Tuesday, Feb. 7, with the doubleheader scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.
The Bucks will finally return to the area this Friday when they are scheduled to battle the Vincennes University JV squad at Grider Stadium in Tullahoma at 4 p.m. The first true home game is Saturday, with a doubleheader against Vincennes scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. at the Driver Baseball Complex on the main Motlow campus in Moore County.
February 1, 2012
The schedule is complete, the roster is filled out, and the Motlow Bucks are ready to open the 2012 baseball season. Head coach Dan McShea, set to begin his sixth year at the helm of the program, believes he has assembled a team that can contend for the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) championship.
"Our goal is to win every game we play," said McShea three days before the season opener. "We have scheduled quality opponents early because we want to find out exactly where we are as a team. These first six games are against good teams on their home field."
He will begin learning more about the 2012 Bucks when the first pitch is tossed on Friday in Birmingham, Alabama as the Bucks take on Lawson State in a noon doubleheader. The following day Motlow visits Hanceville, Alabama for a noon twinbill against traditional powerhouse Wallace State. The trip ends Tuesday with a pair of games in Decatur against Calhoun Community College.
Although McShea has not settled on a starting pitching rotation yet, he does have a number of hurlers who will get opportunities, including Shaw Dickerson, Josh Dotson, Kendall Edmonson, Joey Falleta, Jacob Honea, and Chase Morris. Both Brandon Reynolds and Logan Dietz will get early opportunities to establish themselves as the closer.
"Our pitching staff has more talent than we have had here in six years. There are several guys that could be in the starting rotation and there will be a battle for those spots," added the coach.
The Bucks roster is scattered with returning sophomores, transfers, and redshirt freshmen. In addition, McShea believes he has added his best recruiting class to the mix.
"I like what I see with our incoming freshman class," said McShea. "We are bigger and stronger. We have a good mix of power hitters and line drive hitters, guys who can run well and pitchers who can throw the ball 90 miles an hour. We are working hard at getting ready for the season, and our goal is to compete for a state championship."
The first opportunity for fans to see the Bucks close to home comes Friday, Feb. 10, when they host the Vincennes University JV squad at Grider Stadium in Tullahoma, with the first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. The following day the two teams will square off again, this time at the Driver Baseball Complex on the main Motlow campus in Moore County. The first pitch of Saturdayâ€™s doubleheader is scheduled for 12 noon.
All Motlow athletic events are free to the public and a fully-stocked concession stand is always open.
Motlow College Photo
Jeff Reed Photography
Motlow College Photo
Motlow College Photo
There are a lot of talented high school baseball teams in middle Tennessee that consistently produce outstanding college prospects. The Motlow Bucks have traditionally sought players from this area, and this year is no exception as head coach Dan McShea welcomes almost a dozen newcomers who played prep ball within minutes of one of Motlow's four campuses.
"We have always recruited this area first," said McShea, "and some of the best players this school has ever produced came from our own backyard.
"Last year's graduating high school class had a number of exceptionally talented players in this area, and I am confident that we have added an outstanding group. We now have over a dozen young men who played high school baseball in either District 8-AAA or 7-AAA."
Those two high school baseball districts include schools in Murfreesboro, Smyrna, LaVergne, Tullahoma, Winchester, Shelbyville and Fayetteville. Motlow has campuses in Smyrna, Fayetteville, McMinnville, and just outside Tullahoma in Moore County.
The Bucks 2012 roster already included a number of returning players from the immediate area, including former Shelbyville Golden Eagle Will Trice, former Tullahoma Wildcat Jacob Honea, and former Siegel Star standout Barry Bartlett.
Added to the roster for the coming season from schools that play in District 8-AAA are Cody Jernigan, Kyle Henshaw, J.D. Barnes, and John Tiedemann from Franklin County, Elliott Bush from Lincoln County, and Chase Morris from Tullahoma.
Roster additions from District 7-AAA include David Kosinski and Andrew Mullendore from Siegel, Logan Dietz from LaVergne, and Cory Mitchell from Blackman.
McShea has also added a number of players from outside the Motlow service area, but that's another story for another day. However, when the freshman class as a whole is considered, the coach can't hide his enthusiasm and anticipation of the coming season.
"I like what I see with our incoming freshman class," added McShea. "We are bigger and stronger. We have a good mix of power hitters and line drive hitters, guys who can run well and pitchers who can throw the ball 90 miles an hour. We are working hard at getting ready for the season, and our goal is to compete for a state championship."
The Bucks are continuing with their fall scrimmage schedule as they work toward the opening of the 2012 season in late February.