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Bucks reach 30-win mark with series sweep over Jackson State

April 11, 2018

The Motlow Bucks reached the 30-win mark for the first time since 2014 and took a firm hold on third place in the TCCAA standings with a three-game sweep over Jackson State last weekend in Jackson, Tenn. Motlow followed that up with a 12-2 win over visiting non-conference opponent Calhoun Tuesday afternoon.

The Bucks (30-14, 12-6) beat the Generals 4-3, 5-0 Sunday, then blasted their way to a 16-4 win in the series finale on Monday. Motlow will travel to Gallatin for a three-game series against TCCAA rival Volunteer State (22-13, 9-9) this weekend, with Friday's single game scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader scheduled for a noon start.

Motlow took 'Launchburg' on the road and continues to hit home runs at an amazing pace, slamming five in the series with Jackson and three more Tuesday. The Bucks lead the nation with 80 homers on the season and Motlow first baseman Troy Weatherly has hit 18, more than any individual player in the country. The all-time Motlow team record is 103 and the individual record belongs to Joshua Arteaga with 27. Both records were set in 2000.

The first game of the series in Jackson was tied 3-3 heading into the final inning before Motlow loaded the bases and scored the winning run on a wild pitch. Paul McIntosh had three hits and a solo homer in the game and now has 16 on the season, the fourth most in the nation. Johnny Mangini and De'Andre Pitts each had two hits, with Pitts scoring the winning run.

Logan Walters (4-2) got the win on the mound, pitching six innings and allowing four hits and three earned runs with seven strikeouts. Dallas Bryan pitched a perfect seventh inning to earn his first save.

Sunday's second game saw Motlow's Kobe Foster pitch another complete-game shutout, allowing just two hits and two walks with 12 strikeouts. Foster (7-1) is second in the TCCAA with a 2.85 earned run average and third in the league with 71 strikeouts.

Weatherly hit a solo home run while Paul Rahman hit a two-run homer, his fifth of the season, to cap off the scoring for Motlow in the sixth inning. Jake Chaney had a pair of hits and drove in a run, while Nathan Sanders had two stolen bases.

The series finale on Monday was the De'Andre Pitts show. The sophomore third baseman from Troy, Ala., hit a pair of home runs, including a grand slam and a three-run shot, and drove in eight runs in Motlow's 16-4 rout. Pitts now has 10 homers on the season and has driven in 41 runs.

McIntosh and Weatherly each had two hits in the game, while Chaney and Patrick Music had two runs batted in each. Tyler Harmon (3-2) got the win, allowing seven hits and four runs in five innings. Justin Parker was near perfect in his three innings of work, giving up just two hits with five strikeouts.

Motlow's Colin Smith had himself a day in Tuesday's win over Calhoun, collecting four hits, including two home runs; one a first inning grand slam that gave the Bucks an early 5-0 cushion, and a sixth-inning three-run homer to drive in seven totals runs, plus adding a stolen base. Pitts added a solo homer in the sixth. Johnny Mangini, Kirby Smith and Music each had two hits.

Jase Carvell (1-1) got the win, allowing just two hits with three strikeouts in four innings. Chandler Hardiman gave up just one hit in two innings pitched, and Darin Keller allowed a run pitching the seventh inning.

De'Andre Pitts
Motlow State sophomore De'Andre Pitts uncorks a long home run while teammate Jake Chaney watches during a game earlier this season at the Driver Baseball Complex. Pitts, a sophomore from Troy, Ala., hit two home runs and drove in eight runs during Motlow's 16-4 win over Jackson State Monday in Jackson. He now has 10 homers on the season and 41 RBI. Jeff Reed Photography.