2014 Baseball News

Bucks face Georgia Perimeter Friday in NJCAA East Central District Tournament opener

May 12, 2014

The Motlow Bucks will face the host school, Georgia Perimeter, in the opening round of the NJCAA East Central District baseball tournament on Friday, May 16 at 2 p.m. central time at Jaguar Baseball Stadium in Covington, Ga.

NJCAA East/Central District Baseball Tournament Bracket

The four-team tournament will decide the East Central representative in the upcoming National Junior College Athletic Association JUCO World Series, scheduled for May 24-31 at Sam Suplizio Field in Grand Junction, Co. The tournament was originally scheduled to begin on Thursday, but was pushed back one day due to potential inclement weather.

The tournament, being held a Georgia Perimeter's campus in Covington, will open with Columbia State (41-11) playing Darton State, Ga. (42-18) at 11 a.m. Friday. Columbia St. is Tennessee's top seed while Motlow (40-22) is No. 2. Georgia Perimeter (43-12) is the top seed from Georgia and Darton St. is the second seed. Georgia Perimeter beat Darton St. 13-3 in the Georgia championship game.

The two winners will advance to the winner's bracket finals on Saturday at 11 a.m. The two opening-round losing teams will play on Friday at 5 p.m., with the loser of that game being eliminated in the double-elimination tournament.

The championship game is scheduled for Sunday, May 18 at 11 a.m. If a second championship game is needed, it will be played 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game on Sunday.

The Bucks advanced to their first East Central District tournament since 2000 with a thrilling, come-from-behind 7-6 win over Walters St. in the semifinals of the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament in Gallatin on May 3. Columbia St. beat the Bucks 8-4 to win the tournament and claim the No. 1 seed.

"Our starting pitching really did a fantastic job early in the tournament, which allowed us to be in a position where we could win in such dramatic fashion," said Motlow Head Coach Dan McShea. "Elliott Bush and Matt Sharp put us in position to win with outstanding starting pitching, and Luke Toms carried us offensively."

Motlow is the only team in the East Central District tournament that is not ranked among the nation's top 20 teams by the NJCAA, although the Bucks opened the season ranked No. 13. Georgia Perimeter is ranked No. 8, Columbia St. is ranked No. 12, and Darton St. is ranked No. 18.

"These guys have really worked hard this year," added McShea. "Now that finals are over we are back at work preparing for this district tournament."

In 2000 Motlow won the East Central tournament and advanced to the JUCO World Series, where they finished as national runner-up. Motlow also won the TCCAA tournament and advanced to the East Central tournament in 1998.

The 40 wins for the Bucks this season is the most since Motlow won 41 games in 2005 and only the second time a Motlow baseball team has won 40 or more games since the 2000 season. There have been seven teams in Motlow baseball history that have won 40 or more games in a season, with the 2000 squad holding the school record with 57 wins.


Walk-off home run leads Motlow Bucks past Walters St. and into NJCAA district tournament

May 5, 2014

Sophomore Luke Toms hit a walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead the Motlow Bucks to a 7-6 win over Walters St. Saturday in the semifinals of the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament in Gallatin.

With the win the Bucks advanced to Sunday's championship game, where they fell to top-seed Columbia St 8-4. However, because Motlow finished as the tournament runner-up, they will advance along with Columbia St. to the NJCAA East/Central District tournament May 15-17 in Covington, Georgia. The Region XVII tournament in Georgia will be held this coming weekend to determine its two representatives.

The last time the Bucks advanced to a district tournament was 2000, when former coach Don Rhoton led Motlow to a district championship and a berth in the NJCAA national tournament where they finished as national runner-up. It is the only time in Motlow baseball history the Bucks have played in the national tournament.

Motlow (40-22) entered this year's conference tournament as the No. 4 seed after sweeping Cleveland St. 8-4, 7-6 in the opening round at the Driver Complex in Moore County. The game-two win featured a ninth inning two-run walk-off single by Motlow's Hayden Pewitt.

The Bucks entered the final inning against Walters on Saturday trailing 6-3 and needing a miracle to keep their season alive. Devon Dager led off the inning with a single and Nick Chambers walked. JC Daily drove both home with a triple to cut the Walters St. lead to 6-5.

With two outs and Daily on third base, Toms lofted a blast into left field, barely clearing the wall and sending the Bucks into a wild celebration. The Bucks advance to the district tournament for the first time in Head Coach Dan McShea's eight-year tenure at Motlow.

After its wins over Cleveland St. the Bucks were one of five teams that advanced to the tournament in Gallatin. Motlow opened play in Gallatin with a 2-1 win over the home team, Volunteer St., on Friday. The Bucks got a masterful pitching performance from Elliott Bush (6-5), who went the distance and allowed only three hits.

Toms, who had three home runs during the weekend, provided all the runs Bush needed with a two-run homer in the first inning, driving in Logan Conley who had reached on a Pioneer error with one out. Volunteer St. scored its lone run the sixth inning.

After beating the Pioneers the Bucks had to turn right around and play Columbia St. Friday night. The Chargers, who won the conference regular season championship, built an 8-1 lead in the first five innings and cruised to a 10-3 win. Matt Sharp (10-3) took the loss for Motlow, allowing nine hits and six earned runs. The Bucks managed eight hits, including two by Toms who also drove in two runs.

The loss Friday night dropped Motlow into the elimination bracket, where they were once again matched up against Volunteer St. on Saturday. The Bucks built a 5-0 lead through five innings and held off an attempted Pioneer comeback to win 5-3.

Jacob Toney (2-1) got the win on the mound for Motlow, pitching seven innings and allowing five hits and one earned run. Hayden Bailey pitched the final two innings to earn his ninth save.

Ben Holland, who was named to the all-conference team, got the Bucks' offense started with a solo home run to lead off the second inning. The Bucks added three runs in the fourth inning as Toms, who led off the inning getting hit by a pitch, scored on Pewitt's fielder's choice. Chambers drove in Pewitt with a single and Daily gave Motlow a 4-0 lead with an RBI single, scoring Dager.

Motlow's final run came in the fifth when Toms doubled, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Clayton Palicki's RBI single. The win put the Bucks in position to play Walters St. in an elimination game, with the winner advancing to the tournament championship and earning a spot in the district tournament in Georgia.

Walters St. jumped out to a 3-0 lead with three runs in the second inning off Motlow starter Peyton Phillips, then added another run in the third to lead 4-0. The Bucks scored their first run in the bottom of the third when Chambers singled and scored on Chris Adams' RBI double.

Bailey relieved Phillips and pitched the fourth and fifth innings, allowing one run and three hits. Hammer (3-3) took the mound for Motlow in the sixth and pitched the final three innings, allowing five hits and one unearned run to get the win.

Trailing 5-1, Conley and Toms led off the bottom of the sixth with back-to-back home runs to cut the Walters St. lead to 5-3. The Senators added their final run in the top of the eighth inning to increase their lead to 6-3, setting the stage for Motlow's ninth-inning walk-off victory.


Bucks Advance in TCCAA Tournament with 9th-inning Comeback

April 28, 2014

Hayden Pewitt drove in the winning run with a two-out, ninth-inning single and the Motlow Bucks advanced in the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament with a 7-6 win over Cleveland State at the Driver Baseball Complex on Saturday.

TCCAA/Region VII Tournament Bracket

The win came on the heels of Motlow's 8-4 win over the Cougars on Friday and completed a sweep of their tournament-opening series. Motlow now advances to the final five-team tournament in Gallatin this weekend. The Bucks are seeded fourth and will play fifth-seed Volunteer State at 10 a.m. Friday.

After beating Cleveland on Friday and battling to a 3-3 tie after eight innings Saturday, the Bucks found themselves down 6-3 after Cleveland's Dalton Rogers hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning. It appeared the series would be decided with a third and final game on Sunday.

However, the Bucks had other ideas. Nick Chambers opened the ninth with a single and advanced to third on Chris Adams' single. Logan Conley closed the gap to 6-4 with a sacrifice fly, scoring Chambers and leaving Adams on first base with two outs. Adams advanced to second on a passed ball, putting him in scoring position.

Luke Toms doubled home Adams, cutting the Cleveland lead to 6-5. The Bucks then literally took two for the team as both Patrick Poteet and Clayton Palicki were hit by pitches to load the bases, bringing Pewitt to the plate for his game-winning hit.

Nathan Hammer got the win, pitching the final 2.2 innings in relief of starter Matt Sharp, who allowed only one earned run in 6.1 innings. Ben Holland homered in the second inning to tie the score at 1-1 and Toms, who had three hits, homered in the eighth to again tie the game at 3-3.

Friday's first game saw the Bucks score twice in the fourth inning and four more runs in the fifth to take a 6-0 lead they would not relinquish. Elliott Bush was the winner on the mound for Motlow, going 6.2 innings and allowing all four runs on four hits. Hayden Bailey pitched the final 2.1 innings for his eighth save of the season.

Toms led the Bucks offensively in game one as well as game two, going 3-5 with a triple and a home run along with three runs batted in. Holland, Palicki, Pewitt and JC Daily each had two hits, with Daily adding to his school record with his 40th stolen base.

The Bucks swept a three-game series over Volunteer State in late February at the Driver Complex. If Motlow can get past the Pioneers they will be matched with top-seed Columbia State at 4 p.m. on Friday. If Volunteer wins Friday's first game then the Bucks will fall into the elimination bracket and will play again at 7 p.m. Friday.

Columbia is the top seed in the tournament, with Walters State second and Jackson State third.


Bucks host TCCAA Tournament series this weekend

April 24, 2014

The Motlow Bucks will open the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament when they host Cleveland State this weekend at the Driver Baseball Complex. Start times Friday and Saturday are 2 p.m., with a 1 p.m. start on Sunday if game three is necessary. The Cougars won two out of three from Motlow in early April in Cleveland.

The three-game series to open the tournament is new this year, featuring the five top finishers hosting the bottom five. The five series winners will converge on Gallatin in early May to complete the tournament.

The TCCAA/Region VII Tournament winner will advance to the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado.


Bucks sweep Shorter College in home finale

April 17, 2014

The Motlow Bucks wrapped up the home portion of their 2014 baseball schedule with an 8-0, 6-1 sweep of non-conference opponent Shorter College Wednesday at the Driver Baseball Complex.

The Bucks (34-18, 13-11) will complete the regular season with a trip to Memphis and a three-game series this weekend against Southwest Tennessee (12-25, 6-18). The TCCAA Tournament begins Apr. 25, and the Bucks are in position to either receive a first-round bye or host a first-round series, depending on how they do this weekend against the Saluqis.

Wednesday's opener featured a masterful pitching performance by Tullahoma freshman Peyton Phillips (3-0). The southpaw tossed a complete game one-hitter, striking out six and allowing three walks. He got great run support from the Motlow offense as the Bucks scored three runs in the second inning, two in the third, another in the fifth and two more in the sixth.

Motlow slammed three home runs, with Luke Toms hitting his sixth, Hayden Pewitt his third and JC Daily his first. Chris Adams, Cody Blackburn and Devon Dager each hit doubles for the Bucks.

Game two saw the Bucks fall behind 1-0 in the first before bouncing back with two runs in the third inning and four more in the sixth. Sean Davis (5-1) got the win with four innings of two-hit pitching. Nathan Hammer set a new school single-season record with his eighth save, pitching two perfect innings.

Adams hit his seventh home run and Logan Conley slammed his fifth. Conley went 3-3 with two runs batted in. The Bucks stole five bases and overcame three errors.


Motlow Bucks host Columbia State in conference showdown

April 9, 2014

The Motlow Bucks have a great opportunity to strengthen their position in the top half of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings when they host conference rival and current leader Columbia State in a three-game series this weekend.

The opening game between the Bucks and the Chargers (28-9, 18-3) is scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m. at the Driver Complex on the Moore County campus. Game one will be a nine-inning contest. Saturday, the two squads will play a doubleheader beginning at noon. All Motlow College athletic contests are free.

The showdown will give the Bucks (31-16, 12-9) a chance to regain ground in the conference standings after slipping last weekend when they dropped two out of three against Cleveland State in Cleveland.

Wins this weekend could help regain the momentum of what's turning out to be one of the best seasons in Dan McShea's eight year tenure as head coach at Motlow. In addition to their overall record as a team, several Bucks players are having standout seasons individually.

Coming into the series against Cleveland State the Bucks had been on a roll, winning 13 of their last 15. To continue that trend this weekend against Columbia State, they'll need to play more like themselves than they did last weekend.

While Motlow got great pitching from starter Elliot Bush in game one against Cleveland, the team failed to provide much support with their bats, losing a tight game 2-1. The Motlow offense only managed three hits but also left three men in scoring position.

Motlow's offense managed to rebound in game two, another close contest that the Bucks won 5-4. Motlow again got solid pitching as starter Matt Sharp (9-2) allowed four runs off six hits but had two strikeouts. Sharp went six innings before Nathan Hammer came in to close the seventh and earn his seventh save. The Bucks' bats provided enough runs, sparked by Luke Toms' two-run homer in the third. Motlow added three more in the sixth, giving the Bucks the one run advantage and the final margin of victory.

However, the Bucks' offense cooled off again in game three, with Motlow falling in the rubber match 11-1. Cleveland State hammered Bucks pitchers for 16 hits, and Motlow's bats only produced three hits.

For Motlow to win this weekend, it will have to get more production from its bats, as it has most of the year prior to last weekend's series. The warm weather should help, as forecasters are predicting 70s and sunny for Friday and Saturday. The Bucks' impressive home record could also play a factor, as they are 19-6 at the Driver Complex.

This year's Motlow squad features multiple players who are putting up numbers that rank them among the national leaders, and are setting or threatening to set new school records.

JC Daily currently leads the nation with 39 stolen bases, and has already broken the previous school record of 31. Chris Adams leads the Bucks with a .401 batting average and has scored 49 runs, tied for fifth in the country. Ben Holland leads the team with nine home runs and 38 walks, while Toms has 17 doubles on the year. Holland and Toms are ranked in the top ten nationally in all three of those categories.

Matt Sharp leads the Bucks' starting pitchers with a 9-2 record and a 2.52 earned run average. The nine wins is tied for most in the nation and is only three wins shy of tying the Motlow all-time single season record of 12. Relief pitchers Hammer and Hayden Bailey have both tied the school's all-time single season saves record with seven each.


Motlow Bucks sweep Dyersburg State; have now won 13 of their previous 15

March 31, 2014

The Motlow Bucks have now won 13 of their previous 15 baseball games following a three-game sweep over Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) rival Dyersburg State this past weekend at the Driver Baseball Complex.

Motlow (29-13, 11-7) has won 12 of its last 13 since Mar. 11, when they lost to non-conference Calhoun 7-2 and saw their record fall to 17-12. The Bucks will get an opportunity to avenge that loss when they host Calhoun for a noon doubleheader on Tuesday. Motlow will travel to conference rival Cleveland State for a three-game series this weekend.

Due to rain on Friday the series with Dyersburg was delayed for one day, with the single, nine-inning game played on Saturday and the doubleheader on Sunday. The Bucks jumped out of the gate with an offensive explosion on Saturday, and then got great pitching when they needed it on Sunday.

Saturday the Motlow offense scored five runs in the first inning and three more in the second to give starting pitcher Elliott Bush (4-2) a huge cushion. Bush went 5.2 innings, scattering 11 hits and allowing three earned runs with three strikeouts. Hayden Bailey pitched the final 3.1 innings to notch his sixth save.

The Bucks slammed out 19 hits, including doubles by Luke Toms, Ben Holland and Nick Chambers. Chris Adams, Logan Conley and Hayden Pewitt each had three hits, and Clayton Palicki and Pewitt had three runs batted in each. JC Daily added to his all-time single season stolen base record with two, giving him 36 on the season.

Sunday's first game featured another early offensive show by the home team, as Motlow scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning to give winning pitcher Matt Sharp (8-2) all the runs he needed. The 11-1 win ended after five innings due to the 10-run rule. Sharp was magnificent, allowing only two hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Conley led a 16-hit Motlow offense with four hits, including a double and two runs batted in. Devon Dager slammed his third home run of the season, a two-run shot that propelled the Bucks to a five-run fifth inning and the run-rule victory.

Sunday's series finale took a decidedly different turn as both offenses ran out of steam and both pitching staffs took control. Motlow had the edge on the mound, with Jacob Toney getting his first win by tossing three innings and allowing only two hits. Zach Westberry pitched the fourth, allowing one hit, and Nathan Hammer notched his sixth save by allowing only three hits in the final three innings.

The lone run came in the bottom of the second inning. Palicki reached on an error to open the inning and moved to second on Darren White's sacrifice bunt. Dager then singled to drive in Palicki with what proved to be the winning run. Dyersburg had its chances, stranding at least one runner in every inning and a total of 12 for the game.

Chris Adams continued to set the pace for the Bucks from the leadoff position with seven hits during the series. Adams has 55 hits on the season and is batting .399. Dager now leads the Bucks with a .404 batting average.

Sharp has quietly put together a great season on the mound, pitching 47.2 innings with an earned run average of 2.08 to go along with his 8-2 record.


Daily, Holland lead Motlow Bucks to series win over Jackson State

March 24, 2014

JC Daily set a new single season school record for stolen bases and Ben Holland slammed two home runs as the Motlow Bucks kept themselves in the thick of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) race by winning two out of three games against nationally-ranked Jackson State over the weekend in Jackson.

Due to potential inclement weather in Jackson, the Bucks and Generals decided to play their doubleheader on Friday and the single, nine-inning game on Saturday. Motlow won Friday's opener 9-1 and dropped the nightcap 7-5. The Bucks responded on Saturday with a 4-1 win to capture the series. Daily stole a base on Saturday, giving him 32 on the season which sets a new single season school record.

Motlow (24-13, 8-7) will step outside the conference on Monday with a doubleheader in Lebanon against the Cumberland University JV team. The Bucks return to TCCAA action this coming weekend when Dyersburg State visits for a three-game series at the Driver Complex. Friday's single game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start.

Elliott Bush (3-2) regained his early season pitching magic in the opener by scattering six hits with five strikeouts and no earned runs allowed in 6.1 innings. Hayden Bailey got the final two outs in the seventh as he relieved Bush with runners on second and third with one out and shut down the Jackson rally.

Motlow broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the third inning. Chris Adams singled with one out and scored on Logan Conley's RBI double. Luke Toms then singled in Conley. Holland, who leads the Bucks with eight home runs, hit his first of two homers in the game to give Motlow a 4-0 lead. Toms hit his fourth homer of the season in the fifth, a two-run shot, and Holland followed with a solo blast.

Friday's second game saw the Bucks jump out to a 4-2 lead after two innings, but the Generals fought back with two runs in the third, one in the fifth, and two more in the sixth. Nathan Hammer (1-2) took the loss in relief of starter Sean Davis, despite allowing only four hits and one earned run in his 3.1 innings pitched. Nick Chambers homered for the Bucks and Conley had two hits and two RBIs.

Saturday's series finale featured outstanding pitching by the Bucks. Jacob Toney started and pitched two innings without allowing a run. Matt Sharp (7-2) got the win with six innings of work, allowing only two hits and one run with seven strikeouts. Bailey picked up his fourth save by pitching a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts.

Motlow broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning as Holland hit a two-out single to drive in Adams, who had opened the inning by drawing a base on balls. Holland leads the Bucks with 34 RBIs.

The Bucks added three runs in the sixth to give Sharp and Bailey all the runs they needed. Devon Dager opened the inning with a single and Chambers sacrificed him to second. Dager then stole third and Daily walked and stole second base, setting the new school stolen base record. The previous record of 31 had been set by Josh Morris in 1997 and tied by Zac Mitchell in 2010.

Adams then slammed a three-run homer, his fifth of the season, to drive in Dager and Daily to complete the scoring for Motlow. Jackson State scored their lone run in the bottom of the ninth before Bailey relieved Sharp and ended the rally.


Motlow Bucks sweep Lawson State

March 19, 2014

The Motlow Bucks extended their winning streak to five with a 5-2, 9-2 sweep of visiting Lawson State at the Driver Baseball Complex on Tuesday. The sweep followed a three-game series sweep over Roane State last weekend.

Motlow (22-12, 6-6) will have an opportunity to continue its winning ways and make a move in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings when it travels to Jackson this weekend for a three-game series against Jackson State, currently ranked 21st in the nation in the latest NJCAA poll.

The Bucks got excellent pitching in their sweep over non-conference opponent Lawson State on a cold, windy Tuesday. Eight Bucks' hurlers combined to allow only nine total hits during the doubleheader. Meanwhile, the Motlow offense generated big innings of four and five runs to give the pitchers a lead to work with.

Game one starter Peyton Phillips was the lone exception for the Bucks, as he worked 4.2 innings and allowed only five hits and one earned run. When he left with two outs in the fifth, replaced by Hayden Bailey (3-0), the Bucks trailed 1-0.

Motlow plated five runs in the bottom of the inning though, securing the win for Bailey, who allowed only one hit in his 2.1 innings. After Patrick Poteet opened the inning with a walk, Devon Dager pinch-ran for him and scored on Chris Adams' double. JC Daily, who had reached base on an error, scored on Logan Conley's ground out. Ben Holland, who has been on a home run tear of late, cleared the bases with a three-run blast to give the Bucks a 5-1 lead.

Six pitchers saw action for the Bucks in game two, with Zach Westberry (2-0) getting the win. Jacob Toney started and pitched a perfect first with two strikeouts. Westberry didn't allow a hit in his two innings of work, and the Bucks scored five runs in the third to give Westberry the win. Elliott Bush, Sean Davis, Matt Sharp and Nathan Hammer also took the mound for Motlow.

Adams and Holland each had two hits, including a double apiece. Adams also added a triple and scored two runs. Motlow scored five runs in the third inning and added four more in the sixth. Clayton Palicki, Darren White and Cole Thiede each drove in two runs for the Bucks.


Motlow Bucks sweep Roane State in weekend baseball

March 17, 2014

The Motlow Bucks (20-12, 6-6) hammered visiting Roane State for 38 runs to earn a weekend sweep over their TCCAA opponent, beating the Raiders 16-7 on Friday and earning the sweep on Saturday 12-9 and 10-0. The three wins brought Motlow back to .500 in conference play.

The series began Friday at the Driver Complex in Moore County when Motlow defeated Roane State 16-7. Hayden Bailey (2-0), who stepped in for starting pitcher Elliott Bush in the fourth inning, earned the win. While Bush struggled, Bailey only allowed two hits over five innings, giving up zero runs and recorded four strikeouts.

Motlow's high scoring weekend began in the first inning of Friday's game when they notched two runs. Roane State answered back with a five-run inning in the second, but Motlow's bats continued to pile on runs throughout the game. This scoring assault included two home runs by Ben Holland and a home run by Chris Adams.

The onslaught continued during the doubleheader on Saturday as Motlow won the first game 12-9. Roane State piled on runs themselves, and Motlow pitchers struggled throughout the game. Sean Davis gave up six hits and five runs through four innings pitched, but did record four strikeouts. Zach Westberry took over for Davis in the fifth, but was replaced by Matt Sharp after giving up two runs. Sharp (6-2), who earned the win, pitched the next three innings and gave up two runs on five hits, but recorded a strikeout en route to his sixth win.

Motlow seemed in control until the fifth inning, leading 6-3, when Roane State scored five runs to take the lead at 8-6. Motlow got one back in the bottom of the fifth, cutting the lead to 8-7, setting up a thrilling finish in the final two innings. In the sixth inning, Roane State plated one run to go up 9-7 but Motlow answered when Clayton Palicki hit a two-run homer, tying the game 9-9 heading into the seventh. Roane State failed to score in their half of the seventh. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Holland, who had homered in the first inning, hit a three-run walk-off home run to win the game. Devon Dager also homered for Motlow.

The final game in the series was much less in doubt as the Bucks blew out the Raiders 10-0 in five innings. Clayton Palicki (1-3) started for Motlow and pitched a three hitter, recording two strikeouts en route to his first win of the season. Motlow led 4-0 heading into the fifth inning when they scored six more runs to take a 10-0 lead. Palicki completed the shutout in the top of the fifth, allowing Motlow to win by mercy rule, which says if a team leads by 10 runs after five innings the game is complete. Logan Conley went 3-4 and hit a home run for the winners.

Over the weekend, the Bucks hit 11 home runs, including four from Ben Holland.

While Motlow made good use of its bats, the Bucks also created scoring opportunities with their legs. In the game on Friday, the Bucks stole nine bases, including three by JC Daily, who has now tied the Motlow single season stolen base record of 31.

The Bucks will play Lawson State at home on Tuesday, with the first pitch scheduled for noon, before traveling to Jackson this weekend for a three-game series with TCCAA rival Jackson State.


Motlow Bucks welcome Roane State this weekend

March 12, 2014

The Motlow Bucks will have an opportunity to climb back into the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) baseball race this weekend when they host Roane State for a three-game series at the Driver Baseball Complex.

Motlow (17-12, 3-6) played outside the conference on Tuesday when they traveled to Decatur, Ala. and split a doubleheader with Calhoun Community College, winning the opener 9-1 and dropping the nightcap 7-2.

Roane State (3-17, 1-8) comes into the weekend series sitting near the bottom of the TCCAA standings. Friday's single nine-inning game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader will start at noon. Admission is free to Motlow College athletic events.

Sean Davis (4-1) pitched splendidly for the Bucks in the first game at Calhoun, going 6.2 innings and allowing only three hits and striking out six. Peyton Phillips came on in the seventh after Calhoun loaded the bases and scored their only run. Phillips got the final out and nailed down the win for Davis and Motlow.

The Bucks came out of the gate hitting the ball well, scoring three runs in the first inning, two in the second and two more in the fourth and seventh innings. Chris Adams and Clayton Palicki each had three hits for Motlow, while Logan Conley and Ben Holland added two hits each.

Adams tripled to lead off the game and scored on Luke Toms' one-out sacrifice fly. Holland then doubled, driving in Logan Conley who had walked. Palicki ended the first-inning scoring with an RBI single to center.

Holland and Palicki each had two runs batted in, and JC Daily stole three bases for the Bucks. Daily now has 26 stolen bases on the season, putting him within five of the Motlow all-time single season record of 31.

Game two saw Calhoun come out swinging the bats well, scoring two runs in the second inning and four more in the fifth. The Bucks managed only five hits, and the Motlow defense was shaky in committing four errors and allowing five unearned Calhoun runs.

Matt Sharp (5-2) took the loss on the mound for the Bucks, scattering six hits in three innings and allowing two runs. Peyton Phillips pitched a perfect fourth, Zach Westberry gave up five runs in the fifth, and Hayden Bailey pitched a perfect sixth inning.

Motlow managed only five hits in the second game, none for extra bases. The Bucks got runs batted in from Palicki in the sixth inning and Daily in the seventh.


Bucks Sweep Martin Methodist, Head to Chattanooga this Weekend

March 6, 2014

The Motlow Bucks baseball team got itself back on the winning track with an 8-1, 10-0 sweep over the Martin Methodist College JV team on Wednesday at the Driver Baseball Complex.

The Bucks (16-8, 3-3) will step back into TCCAA play when they travel to Chattanooga to face Chattanooga State this weekend. Friday's single game begins at 1 p.m. central and Saturday's doubleheader will start at 11 a.m.

Matt Sharp (5-1) picked up the win on the mound in game one, tossing five innings and allowing four hits with six strikeouts. Peyton Phillips pitched the final two innings, allowing three hits and striking out two.

Luke Toms went 2-4 with two doubles and drove in three runs to lead the Bucks' offense. Motlow's big inning was the sixth, when they scored six runs.

Game two was decided in five innings and featured a masterful pitching performance by Sean Davis (3-1), who allowed only one hit and struck out seven in four innings. Hayden Bailey struck out two and didn't allow a hit while pitching the final inning.

Nick Chambers, Cody Blackburn and Devon Dager each doubled for the Bucks, with Blackburn driving in two runs.


Motlow Bucks put weekend sweep behind them

March 4, 2014

The Motlow Bucks baseball team will get a break from Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) play when they host the Martin Methodist College JV at noon Wednesday at the Driver Complex on the Moore County campus. Motlow swept the Red Hawks when the teams met on Feb. 17 10-8 and 12-0.

The Bucks' (14-8, 3-3) second weekend of conference action was forgettable as the No. 18 Walters State Senators swept the No. 13 Bucks last weekend at the Driver Complex.

The weekend series against Walters State began on a sour note as the Bucks dropped game one 11-4. Josh Hopkins, who came into Friday 3-0 as a starting pitcher, took the loss. Motlow pitchers struggled against Walters State, whose bats came out firing on Friday, surrendering 13 hits and 11 runs in game one. The Bucks' offense managed eight hits of its own, including a solo home run by Hayden Pewitt.

The Senators' hot bats carried into Saturday as they completed the sweep of Motlow 7-0 and 11-3. In the first inning of game one of Saturday's doubleheader Walters State scored three runs, and used the momentum to finish the series sweep.

Motlow pitchers Sean Davis (1-1) took the loss in the first game and Elliot Bush (2-1) took the loss in the series finale. Walters State starting pitcher Andrew Gist was stellar, allowing only three hits while pitching a complete game shutout in game one Saturday. Though the Bucks managed little offense on Saturday, Motlow's bats banged out 11 hits and three runs in the second game of the doubleheader.

The Bucks jump back into TCCAA play this weekend when they travel to Chattanooga to face the Chattanooga State Tigers for a three-game series. The series opener begins Friday at 1 p.m. central and the Saturday doubleheader begins at 11 a.m.


No. 13 Motlow will host No. 18 Walters State this weekend

Feb. 26, 2014

The Motlow Bucks are off to their best start to the baseball season since Dan McShea took over as head coach eight years ago. Because of their outstanding play, the Bucks have garnered attention from the National Junior College Athletic Association.

The NJCAA released its first poll of the 2014 season on Tuesday, and the Bucks landed at No. 13, the second-highest ranking in school history. Motlow then took the field and split a pair of games with visiting Wallace State, winning the opener 4-2 before dropping game two 4-3.

NJCAA poll

"It is good for the guys to get this kind of recognition and it is good for the program as well," said McShea. "This group has really put in a lot of hard work and this is sort of a reward for that work. They have worked hard in and out of the classroom. However, we are most concerned about the rankings in May and June. We must continue to work extremely hard and stay focused on our goals. If we do that, rankings will be something that comes with reaching those goals. Our focus right now is winning that first pitch on Friday against a very good Walters State team."

The Bucks (14-5, 3-0) will host a fellow ranked team when Tennessee Community College Athletic Association rival Walters State visits the Driver Complex for a three-game series this weekend. The series with the 18th-ranked Senators (11-5, 2-1) begins on Friday with a single game at 2 p.m. and concludes with a noon doubleheader on Saturday.

Tuesday's first game saw the Bucks fall behind 2-0 when Wallace scored twice in the second inning off Bucks' starter Sean Davis, who picked up the win with 6.1 innings of four-hit pitching. Nathan Hammer notched his fifth save of the season by relieving Davis in the seventh inning and recording the final two outs.

Motlow tied the game with two runs in the fourth inning. Logan Conley led off with a single and Luke Toms laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Conley to second base. After a Ben Holland walk, Clayton Palicki singled home Conley. Darren White then drove in Holland, tying the score at 2-2.

The Bucks took the lead in the fifth when Nick Chambers led off with a single and stole second base. After moving to third on JC Daily's sacrifice bunt, Chambers scored on a wild pitch. Motlow added an insurance run in the sixth as Toms doubled to open the inning and moved to third on Holland's sacrifice bunt. White drove in Chambers with a one-out single.

Wallace State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of game two with a pair of runs off Motlow starter Matt Sharp, who suffered the loss despite allowing only five hits and two earned runs in five innings of work. The Bucks tied the game with two runs of their own in the bottom of the second inning.

Hayden Pewitt walked to open the second for Motlow, stole second base and then moved to third on a Wallace State error. Patrick Poteet drove in Pewitt with a sacrifice fly. With two outs Daily singled for the Bucks, stole second, advanced to third on another error and continued to home plate to tie the score 2-2 after two innings.

The visitors scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 4-2 lead, but the Bucks battled back with a run in the sixth to cut the lead to 4-3. Devon Dager singled home Palicki with two outs, but the Bucks were unable to get another run home. Motlow stranded two runners in both the sixth and seventh innings.

Hayden Bailey pitched the final two innings in relief of Sharp, allowing only one hit. Daily continued his potential record-setting pace by stealing a base, giving him 17 stolen bases on the season. The single season record for stolen bases is 31, set by Josh Morris in 1997 and tied by Zac Mitchell in 2010.


Bucks lead TCCAA after sweep over Volunteer State

Feb. 24, 2014

The Motlow Bucks continued their torrid start to the baseball season when they hosted and swept Volunteer State over the weekend. Motlow won Friday's series opener 11-4, Saturday's first game 10-7 and the series nightcap 6-5 in nine innings at the Driver Baseball Complex.

The Bucks (13-4, 3-0) now sit at the top of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings after one weekend of conference play. Motlow will host non-conference opponent Wallace State on Tuesday, Feb. 25 for a noon doubleheader. The Bucks step back into conference play this weekend when Walters State visits for a three-game series. The Senators were ranked 12th in the preseason national poll.

Friday's opener saw the visiting Pioneers jump out to a 4-2 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning. Motlow scored single runs in the first, second and third innings, then put the game away with four runs in the fifth and four more in the eighth inning.

Josh Hopkins got the win for Motlow, allowing four earned runs with five strikeouts in six innings of work. Nathan Hammer picked up his third save by pitching three innings of shutout relief. Ben Holland went 3-4 with a home run and drove in three runs, Logan Conley had three hits and Clayton Palicki drove in two runs.

The first game of Saturday's doubleheader was a slugfest with the two teams combining for five home runs, including one by Palicki. Hayden Bailey picked up the win on the mound in relief of starter Elliott Bush. Hammer pitched the final inning for his fourth save.

Palicki continued his hot hitting with a pair of hits and three runs batted in. Conley also drove in three runs and slammed a double and a triple. Former Buck player Chevis Hoover started on the mound and took the loss for the Pioneers.

Saturday's second game was the most suspenseful game of the series. Motlow scored two runs in the first and second innings for a 4-0 lead, but the Pioneers stormed back with five in the third inning. However, the home team tied the score with a run in the fifth inning and won it in the bottom of the ninth when Chris Adams doubled, advanced to third on Conley's bunt single, and scored the winning run on an error by the Volunteer State third baseman.

Palicki started game three on the mound but left in the third and was charged with all five runs, although only two were earned. Zach Westberry pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless relief and Matt Sharp picked up the win by allowing only one hit while pitching the final four innings.

Adams had three hits, including a home run, and drove in two, while Luke Toms also hit a home run and drove in a pair of runs.


Motlow Bucks open conference baseball at home this weekend

Feb. 19, 2014

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.


Bucks take two of three from Glen Oaks

Feb. 10, 2014

The Motlow Bucks raised their record to 4-2 on the young season by winning two out of three games against visiting Glen Oaks, MI last weekend at the Driver Baseball Complex.

Motlow will travel to Rome, GA on Monday, Feb. 10 for a doubleheader against Shorter College.

On Friday the Bucks beat Glen Oaks 11-1 in eight innings. Saturday's doubleheader saw Motlow win the first game 10-0 before dropping the finale 4-0.

Motlow will spend the coming weekend on the road in Alabama. Friday will find them in Hanceville for a doubleheader against Wallace State, then on Saturday the Bucks travel to Birmingham for a pair of games against Lawson State.

The next home game is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 17 when the Bucks will host the Martin Methodist College JV team for a noon doubleheader at the Driver Complex.


Bucks Earn Baseball sweep in Birmingham

Feb. 3, 2014

The Motlow Bucks opened the baseball season winning two out of three games over the weekend in the state of Alabama. Motlow's scheduled trip to Decatur to face Calhoun has been postponed from Tuesday, Feb. 4 to Tuesday, Mar. 11.

The Bucks (2-1) dropped their season opener 4-2 to Shelton State on Friday in Tuscaloosa. Motlow then traveled to Birmingham on Saturday and swept Birmingham Southern 6-5 and 2-0. The first home game is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 7, when Glen Oaks, Mich. visits the Driver Complex at 2 p.m. The teams will play a doubleheader the following day, with the first pitch scheduled for noon.

Against Shelton State on Friday, the home team scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning to grab the lead 3-0. Motlow starting pitcher Josh Hopkins (0-1) gave up the three runs, although only two were earned. Hopkins struck out five and allowed five hits with one walk in his five innings of work.

The Bucks scored their runs in the top of the fourth, cutting the lead to one by taking advantage of two Shelton State errors and a hit by Motlow's Nick Chambers. Chris Adams and JC Daily drove in Motlow's runs. Elliott Bush pitched the final three innings for the Bucks, allowing one hit and one run with three strikeouts. Daily added two stolen bases for the Bucks.

Saturday's first win in Birmingham saw the Bucks score six runs in the top of the fourth inning, then hold on as Southern scored five in the bottom of the seventh. Motlow's Hayden Bailey earned the save for winning pitcher Matt Sharp (1-0) by pitching the final inning.

Sharp was spectacular in his four innings of work, allowing no hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Zach Westberry pitched two innings, and into the seventh, and allowed four runs with two strikeouts. Bailey took over for Westberry in the seventh with the bases loaded and no outs and allowed only one run.

In the six-run fifth inning, Daily got things started with a one-out walk and stole second base. Adams reached on an error and Logan Conley reached on a fielder's choice to score Daily. With two outs, Ben Holland doubled down the left field line to drive in Adams and Conley. Clayton Palicki then doubled to drive in Holland, Poteet singled to drive in Palicki, and Darren White singled to drive in Poteet.

Palicki had two doubles and Holland and Luke Toms each had one. Daily added another stolen base for Motlow.

Game two on Saturday was easily the weekend's most exciting game, going nine innings before the Bucks scored twice in the top of the inning to earn the sweep.

The contest featured outstanding pitching by Motlow's Palicki and Nathan Hammer. Palicki started and went six innings, allowing one run and one walk with two strikeouts. Hammer (1-0) got the win, tossing the final three innings and giving up three hits with one strikeout.

In the decisive ninth inning, Poteet led off for the Bucks with a walk and Chambers reached on an error. Motlow then took advantage of two straight Southern errors and Poteet scored the first run of the game. Daily drove in the final run with a double, scoring Chambers. Hammer then earned the win by pitching a one-hit ninth inning.


Motlow Bucks Baseball opens Season January 31

January 27, 2014

In what may be the earliest opening day in the history of Motlow College baseball, the Bucks will begin the 2014 season on Friday, Jan. 31 against Shelton State in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. central time.

2014 Motlow Bucks Baseball Team
2014 Motlow Bucks - Members of the 2014 Motlow Bucks baseball team in numerical order are: 1-Zach Westberry, 2-Devon Dager, 4-Darren White, 5-Luke Toms, 6-JC Daily, 7-Nathan Hammer, 8-Josh Hopkins, 9-Clayton Palicki, 10-Hayden Pewitt, 11-Nick Chambers, 12-Hayden Bailey, 13-Chris Adams, 14-Cole Thiede, 15-Jacob Toney, 16-Josh Bankston, 17-Sean Davis, 18-Peyton Phillips, 19-Logan Conley, 20-Patrick Poteet, 21-Elliott Bush, 22-Matt Sharp, 24-Ben Holland, 25-Cody Blackburn and Head Coach Dan McShea. Motlow College Photo.


After two more stops in Alabama, first at Birmingham Southern on Feb. 1, then at Calhoun in Decatur on Feb. 4, the Bucks will open their home season on Friday, Feb. 7 against Glen Oaks, Mich., at the Driver Baseball Complex at 2 p.m. The two teams will play a doubleheader the following day beginning at noon.

Motlow will begin its Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) schedule on Friday, Feb. 21 when it hosts Volunteer State for a three-game series. Again the start times are 2 p.m. for Friday's single game and noon for Saturday's doubleheader.

Motlow is beginning its eighth season under Head Coach Dan McShea, and is coming off a 27-23 record in 2013. McShea returns 11 sophomores, most of whom played prominent roles on last year's team. The Bucks welcome 12 freshmen to the roster, many of whom played their high school baseball in Motlow's 11-county service area.

Headlining the returning sophomores are right-handed pitcher Josh Hopkins from Greenbrier, who pitched 67 innings last year and compiled a 4-5 record. His 3.07 earned run average led all starting pitchers, and he tossed three complete games. Right-hander Zach Westberry also returns after appearing in nine games in relief and recording a 2.45 ERA while notching one save.

A number of last year's top hitters are back, led by Murfreesboro's Ben Holland. The Siegel High School product drove in 40 runs last year and hit for a .321 average, including 51 hits and three home runs. Chris Adams, from Huntsville, hit .333 during the 2013 season and scored 17 runs while driving in 14.

Other top returners for the Bucks include Clayton Palicki, also from Huntsville, who hit .309 with 54 hits, 35 runs and 31 RBI. JC Daily, out of Hallsville, Tex., hit .302 and had 39 hits and 27 runs scored.

Additional sophomores on the roster include Luke Toms from Hagerstown, Md., Hayden Pewitt from Maryville, Elliott Bush from Fayetteville, Logan Conley from Flowery Branch, Ga., and Sean Davis from Manchester.

Incoming freshmen, many of whom will be counted on to play significant roles during the upcoming season, are Peyton Phillips from Tullahoma, Nathan Hammer from Winchester, Devon Dager from Granville, Ohio; Darren White from Meridianville, Ala.; Nick Chambers from Chattanooga, Cole Thiede from Franklin, Jacob Toney from South Pittsburg, Josh Bankston from Harrison, and Patrick Poteet from Maryville.

Three former Marshall County High School players join the roster this season, including Hayden Bailey, Matt Sharp and Cody Blackburn.

The TCCAA tournament takes on a different format this season. On Apr. 25-27, the top five teams in the final conference standings will host the bottom five teams in a three-game series at the higher seed's home field. The five winners will then advance to the conference tournament at Volunteer State in Gallatin, scheduled for May 2-4.

Bucks Sign Peyton Phillips of Tullahoma

June 3, 2013

Photo Provided

Tullahoma High School pitcher Peyton Phillips has committed to continue his education and athletic career at Motlow College. Joining Peyton for the ceremony front row from left, Patrick Phillips (father), Petyon and Lee Anne Phillips (mother). Back row standing, Jay Phillips (brother), Tullahoma Athletic Director Jerry Mathis, Tullahoma Head Coach Brad White, Motlow Head Coach Dan McShea and Amber Phillips (sister).


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