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Motlow College Athletic News

Bucks stretch winning streak to 11, welcome Chargers to Driver Complex for TCCAA series

March 27, 2018

The Motlow Bucks stretched their winning streak to 11 consecutive games when they swept non-conference opponent Martin Methodist College JV 11-9, 8-3 Monday at the Driver Baseball Complex on the Moore County campus.

The Bucks (26-11, 9-3) earned that sweep on the heels of a TCCAA conference sweep over visiting Dyersburg State last weekend. Motlow won Friday's opening game of a doubleheader 5-4, then took the nightcap 6-3. Saturday, the Bucks came from behind a won a 10-inning thriller 9-8.

With the wins, the Bucks have moved into sole possession of second place in the TCCAA standings, 2.5 games behind Walters State, currently ranked No. 2 in the nation. Motlow is one game ahead of Columbia State (20-11, 8-4), with the Chargers scheduled to visit the Driver Complex this weekend. Friday's single game is set for a 2 p.m. start, with Saturday's doubleheader beginning at noon.

Monday's opener against Martin Methodist JV saw the Bucks trailing 9-7 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, Chase Dixon doubled to left center field, Tre Bailliez singled and Nathan Sanders hit a three-run homer to center. Two batters later, Troy Weatherly added a two-run homer to give the Bucks the lead. Dallas Bryan pitched a perfect seventh inning to earn his first save of the season. Jordan Burdette (2-1) got the win, following Jase Carvell and Carson Pack on the mound.

Game two saw Motlow jump out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and lead 6-1 after two innings. Colin Smith (3-0) picked up the win, pitching five innings and allowing six hits with five strikeouts. Chandler Hardiman and Darin Keller pitched the final two innings, with Keller not allowing a hit and striking out two of the three batters he faced.

All three games with Dyersburg were close and hard fought. In Friday's opener the Bucks led 5-1 heading into the top of the seventh, but the Eagles fought back with three runs to pull within one. Kobe Foster came on and recorded the final out, notching his fourth save of the season. Logan Walters (3-1) got the win, going six innings and scattering eight hits with five strikeouts.

The Bucks took the lead for good on a three-run homer from Johnny Mangini in the third inning. De'Andre Pitts added a solo homer in the fourth, providing much needed insurance. Mangini now has eight homers and Pitts seven, part of the 'Launchburg' brigade that has Motlow with 66 home runs on the season, more than any team in the nation.

Foster (6-0) was in complete command in game two against the Eagles, tossing his third consecutive complete game and allowing just six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts. The freshman is among the top five pitchers in the TCCAA in wins, saves, strikeouts and earned run average.

Motlow got two hits each from Paul McIntosh, Colin Smith and Paul Rahman, with Rahman slamming a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Saturday's single nine inning game was a wild affair that saw the teams tied 1-1 after one inning. Motlow took a 4-2 lead in the third, then led 8-4 after seven innings. Dyersburg tied the game with four runs in the eighth, but Motlow won it on a walk-off single by Patrick Music in the bottom of the 10th to complete the sweep.

Tyler Harmon started on the mound for the Bucks, lasting 6.1 innings and allowing six hits and three runs. Justin Parker and Carvell each tossed an inning before Bryan came on and closed the door on the Eagles, striking out all six batters he faced in the ninth and tenth innings.

Motlow got home runs from Weatherly, who is tied for the nation's lead with 15, Colin Smith and Jake Chaney. Weatherly drove in three runs and Chaney a pair as the Bucks took advantage of seven walks and three hit batters.

Johnny Mangini
Johnny Mangini, a freshman from Huntsville, and the Dyersburg State catcher and a fan watch the ball Mangini just hit clear the wall for a three-run homer during Motlow's 5-4 win over Dyersburg State Friday afternoon at the Driver Baseball Complex. Mangini has hit eight home runs on the season and driven in 23 runs. The Bucks as a team lead the nation in home runs with 66. Jeff Reed Photography.