Contact: Dan McShea
Head Baseball Coach
April 5, 2017
When the calendar turns to April on the community college baseball season it signals two things; the regular season is in its final month, and if you are going to make a move in the standings you need to start now.
Motlow State sophomore pitcher Camron Harper, shown from a game earlier this season, pitched the first nine inning complete game of the season for the Bucks when he scattered 11 hits and struck out four to beat Columbia State Friday afternoon in Columbia. Harper, from Smyrna, leads the Bucks' starting pitchers in innings pitched, earned run average and strikeouts. Motlow will host Jackson State this weekend in a critical three-game TCCAA series at the Driver Baseball Complex. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
March 21, 2017
With seven consecutive wins under their belt and sole possession of third place in the TCCAA standings, the Motlow Bucks have an opportunity to make a strong statement when they travel to conference co-leader and nationally-ranked Dyersburg State this weekend.
Motlow State catcher Marlon Nava went 5-5 in one game and drove in three runs in another to help the Bucks to a three game sweep over visiting TCCAA rival Roane State this past weekend at the Driver Baseball Complex. The Bucks will travel to Dyersburg State this weekend to begin an eight game road trip. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
March 15, 2017
The Motlow Bucks have an opportunity to catapult themselves into the top half of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings this weekend when they host Roane State for a three-game series at the Driver Baseball Complex on Motlow's Moore County campus.
The Bucks (11-15, 3-3) traveled to Decatur and beat non-conference opponent Calhoun Community College 5-2 in 10 innings on Tuesday. The previous weekend, Motlow won one out of three games at Cleveland State, winning the finale 7-3 after dropping the first two games 8-5 and 11-2.
Motlow is one of three teams tied for fourth place in the standings with 3-3 league records, including Roane State. Cleveland sits at 4-2 in the league and two other teams are 2-4, so the Bucks have a chance to really make a push when the Raiders come to town. Friday's single nine-inning game begins at 2 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader starts at noon.
Designated hitter Lane Whitesell had himself quite a game in Friday's opener in Cleveland. The redshirt freshman from Lewisburg hit a grand slam in the top of the first inning and a solo home run in the ninth to account for all of Motlow's runs. Bryan Rosario (3-3) took the loss on the mound, allowing seven earned runs in 4.1 innings. Gavin Bedsole pitched well in relief with three strikeouts and three hits allowed in 3.2 innings.
Saturday's first game was all Cougars as the home team scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning to take control after the Bucks had grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on a leadoff home run by C.J. Brown. Whitesell drove in the other run with a single in the sixth inning. Camron Harper (1-6) took the loss on the mound for Motlow.
For the third straight game, Motlow scored in the top of the first inning in Saturday's series finale. Finally the Bucks made it hold up though as Jake Fossick (3-0) got the win on the mound. He tossed 5.2 innings and allowed four hits and three runs with five strikeouts. Bedsole shut out the Cougars over the final 1.1 innings.
Leading 2-1, the Bucks blew the game open with five runs in the top of the sixth inning. Zach Ehrhart drove in two runs and Marlon Nava had two hits, including a double. Ehrhart also stole two bases as the Bucks had five steals during the win.
After this weekend's series against Roane State, the Bucks will step back outside the conference to host the Martin Methodist JV team for a noon doubleheader on Monday. After that its back on the road for Motlow, with eight games scheduled over a seven day period from March 24 to April 1.
March 6, 2017
Motlow State sophomore C.J. Brown launched a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Bucks a 5-4 victory over Chattanooga State Saturday afternoon at the Driver Baseball Complex on Motlow's Moore County campus. The dramatic win helped the Bucks take the series from the Tigers 2-1.
Sophomore C.J. Brown slammed a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Motlow State Bucks a 5-4 win over Chattanooga State at the Driver Baseball Complex on Saturday. Brown, who played his prep baseball at Mt. Juliet, helped Motlow successfully begin TCCAA conference play by winning the series 2-1 over the Tigers. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
Feb. 27, 2017
The Motlow State Bucks matched timely hitting together with outstanding pitching to sweep visiting non-conference opponent Morton College, Illinois, last weekend at the Driver Baseball Complex on Motlow's Moore County campus.
Motlow State sophomore Jacob Freeland talks with assistant coach Cody Gaskill after reaching first base during a game earlier this season at the Driver Baseball Complex. Freeland hit a home run and a double and drove in six runs to lead the Bucks to a 16-6 win over visiting Morton College Friday and a four-game sweep over the weekend. Motlow will host Chattanooga State this weekend to open TCCAA conference play. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
Feb. 22, 2017
The Motlow Bucks are scheduled to play nine baseball games over a 10-day span beginning this Friday as they make final preparations for their Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) opener, scheduled for March 3, at the Driver Baseball Complex on Motlow's Moore County campus.
Motlow State catcher Colin Guscoff waits for the pitch while teammate C.J. Brown works on his timing during the Bucks' home game against Wallace State earlier this season. Guscoff and Brown have been two of Motlow's most productive offensive players so far, with Guscoff batting .346 with two home runs and Brown leading the team with 10 runs batted in. Both will be counted on heavily when the Bucks open a nine-game home stand Friday at noon at the Driver Baseball Complex. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
Feb. 13, 2017
Motlow State sophomore Jake Fossick allowed only one hit and one run to lead the Bucks to an 11-1 win over visiting Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College Saturday afternoon at the Driver Baseball Complex on Motlow's Moore County campus.
Sophomore Jake Fossick allowed only one hit through five innings to lead the Motlow State Bucks to an 11-1 win over Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College Saturday afternoon at the Driver Baseball Complex. The Bucks will be back in action Tuesday when they host Wallace State at noon for a doubleheader. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
Feb. 7, 2017
Three Motlow State pitchers combined to allow only one hit and one run as the Bucks opened the 2017 baseball season with a 2-1 win over Wallace State-Hanceville Friday afternoon in Hanceville, Alabama.
The Bucks (1-3, 0-0) couldn't match that performance the rest of the weekend, dropping the second game of the doubleheader with Wallace 10-0, then dropping a pair of games to Lawson State 8-3, 6-5 Saturday afternoon in Birmingham.
Motlow will open the home baseball schedule on Friday when Marshalltown, Iowa visits for a noon doubleheader. The same two teams are scheduled to play another twin bill at the same time on Saturday. All home baseball games are played at the Driver Baseball Complex on Motlow's Moore County campus, and there is no admission charge.
The season opener was a thing of beauty for Motlow fans as freshman Bryan Rosario (1-0) tossed five innings of one-hit ball, striking out four and walking two, to get the first win of his career. Gavin Bedsole got two outs in the sixth before giving way to Camron Harper, who got the final four outs for his first save by allowing no hits and only one walk.
The game was scoreless until the fifth inning, when the Bucks plated both their runs. C.J. Brown drove in Luke Allison, who had two hits on the day, with an RBI double, followed by a single from Colin Guscoff that drove in Brown. Motlow had seven hits, two each by Allison and D'Marcus Guillory, who also added a stolen base.
Game two was not quite as memorable for the Bucks as the home team allowed Motlow only one hit, a single by Zach Ehrhart, in a 10-0 victory. Tyler Zak got the start for the Bucks, lasting 1.2 innings and allowing six runs on nine hits. Matt Westberry allowed four runs in 1.1 innings, followed by Alex Valcarcel who pitched an inning without allowing a hit.
Saturday in Birmingham, Motlow's defense let down in the opener, committing four errors in an 8-3 loss. The Bucks scattered eight hits, with Ryan Hartigan driving in both Motlow runs. Jake Fossick (0-1) took the loss, allowing two earned runs and four walks in 2.1 innings. Harper was a victim of poor defense in his 2.2 innings pitched, as none of his four runs allowed were earned, although he did give up six hits. Valcarcel again pitched the final inning without allowing a hit.
In game two, the Bucks jumped out in front with three runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth to lead 5-0. Ehrhart, Guscoff and Brown each hit doubles, while Jacob Freeland and Brown each drove in two runs, with Freeland slamming the first home run of the season for the Bucks. JD Robertson had two hits for Motlow and drove in a run.
Lawson State scored five in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the score, with four of the runs being charged to starter Chandler Hardiman, who left with one out in the fourth inning. Bedsole (0-1) came on in relief and took the loss despite pitching pretty well, allowing only two hits and one earned run in 2.2 innings. Lawson State scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Jan. 30, 2017
With only nine players returning from last year's roster, including four who were redshirts in 2016, Motlow State head baseball coach Dan McShea may still be learning player names as the Bucks prepare to open the 2017 season. Practice for the new season officially began Jan. 10.
The Motlow starting nine will take the field for the first time on Friday, Feb. 3, when they travel to Hanceville, Ala., for a doubleheader against Wallace State, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. The first home game will be Feb. 10, with Marshalltown (IA) Community College visiting the Driver Baseball Complex at noon.
"It's always interesting to see how each team will come together prior to playing the season," said McShea. "This is especially so with the number of new faces we have this year. This group of young men has really put in a lot of hard work in the classroom and on the field, and they have come together nicely as a team. We will need to remember this when we start playing games and continue to be unselfish players. That is a trait of every great team."
McShea has five sophomores returning who were active members of last year's squad; shortstop J.D. Robertson and left-handed pitcher/outfielder Camron Harper, both from Smyrna, and pitchers R.J. Moore from Tullahoma, Drew Jarrett from Clarksville and Matt Westberry from Murfreesboro.
The four redshirts, who were Motlow students last year but for various reasons were granted a redshirt season, are catcher Seth DeYong from Smyrna, pitcher/infielder Lane Whitesell from Lewisburg, and a pair of Charlotte, Tenn., outfielders Mathis Duncan and Paul Rahman.
"It's an exciting time to be part of the Motlow family and, like our players, I am really looking forward to getting started," McShea continued. "We have a very difficult schedule early on and we should be able to learn a lot from playing some high caliber teams. If we want to be successful in this conference we will need to mature quickly on the mound and our offense will need to perform well out of the gate."
McShea has brought in 12 transfers from across the country, including eight who played a season at another junior college previously, two who attended other schools previously but weren't on baseball rosters or who redshirted, one who played a season on the NAIA level and one Division I transfer.
Joining the nine returners and 12 transfers, the Bucks will feature seven true freshmen, with almost half coming from high schools within Motlow's 11-county service area and a pair from Georgia.
Among the transfers, six come from Volunteer State in Gallatin; infielder Luke Allison, outfielder C.J. Brown, catcher Marlon Nava, first baseman Cory Coggins, catcher/infielder Colin Guscoff and middle infielder Zach Ehrhart. McShea also landed a pair of transfers from Florida Southwestern College in right-handed pitcher Jake Fossick and third baseman Jacob Freeland.
Additional transfers include outfielder Ryan Hartigan, who attended the University of Virginia; Jase Carvell, who comes to Motlow from Trevecca Nazarene University after playing high school baseball at Lawrence County; Sam Patton, a Murfreesboro product who spent a year at Cumberland University in Lebanon; and Gavin Bedsole, who attended a semester at Point University in West Point, Ga.
Headlining the incoming freshman class is a pair of right-handed pitchers from Puerto Rico; Bryan Rosario is from Vega Baja and Alex Valcarcel comes from San Juan. Another pair of freshmen come to Motlow from Mountain View High School in Buford, Ga.; outfielder D'Marcus Guillory and right-handed pitcher Tyler Zak.
The three remaining true freshmen competed against each other for the past four years in District 8-AAA. Left-handed pitcher Chandler Hardiman and catcher Kirby Smith are from Fayetteville and played at Lincoln County, while Darin Keller played at Tullahoma High School.
"We have several guys that are being recruited heavily, and I am as excited about those possibilities as my players are," McShea added. "Being able to help these guys reach personal goals, as well as team goals, is one of the great rewards of coaching. The hard work that these guys have put in is starting to pay off."
McShea and assistant coach Cody Gaskill have put together a roster that could return Motlow to the position it enjoyed in 2014, when the Bucks posted a 40-24 overall record and made it to the East Central District playoff, just one step away from the national tournament in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Motlow home games are played at the Driver Baseball Complex on the Moore County campus. Admission is free to all Motlow athletic contests. Most home Saturday contests are doubleheaders with a noon start time, while most weekday games are single nine-inning contests that begin at either 1 p.m. or 2 p.m.
2017 Motlow Bucks - Members of the 2017 Motlow Bucks baseball team: D'Marcus Guillory, Luke Allison, C.J. Brown, Ryan Hartigan, Bryan Rosaio, Marlon Nava, Jake Fossick, Jacob Freeland, Cory Coggins, Colin Guscoff, Sam Patton, J.D. Robertson, Alex Valcarcel, Matt Westberry, Paul Rahman, Camron Harper, Seth DeYong, Zach Ehrhart, Tyler Zak, Darin Keller, Lane Whitesell, R.J. Moore, Chandler Hardiman, Kirby Smith, Mathis Duncan, Jordan Burdette and Drew Jarrett. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
Jan. 5, 2017
The Motlow State Community College baseball program will open its 44th season of competition on Friday, Feb. 3, when it travels to Hanceville, Ala., for a doubleheader against Wallace State Community College. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Motlow State Community College baseball Head Coach Dan McShea will begin his 11th season at the helm of the program when his team travels to Hanceville, Ala., on Feb. 3 to play a doubleheader with Wallace State. The first home game is Feb. 10, when Marshalltown (IA) visits the Driver Baseball Complex for a noon doubleheader. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
Dec. 21, 2016
Former Motlow State Community College head baseball coach and athletic director Don Rhoton will be inducted into the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 13, at Nisbett Center on Motlow's Moore County campus.
The ceremony will be held at halftime of the women's basketball contest between the Motlow Lady Bucks and visiting Walters State. Both teams are nationally ranked and the winner will be in sole possession of first place in the TCCAA standings. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with the men's game to follow.
"We are extremely proud to welcome Coach Rhoton back to Motlow and to see him finally receive this honor of being inducted into the TCCAA Hall of Fame," said Scott Shasteen, athletics director at Motlow. "Don built a baseball powerhouse here and helped change the lives of hundreds of young men. We invite all of his former players and those who have followed his successful career to come out and support him on this memorable night."
Rhoton was the head coach of the Motlow baseball program during its most successful stretch. From 1989 until 2006, Rhoton's teams won 669 games while losing only 268. He also served as Motlow's athletic director from 1995-2006.
His teams won TCCAA/Region VII championships in 1998 and 2000, and finished as the national tournament runner-up in 2000, falling to San Jacinto, Texas in the national championship game. The 2000 team posted a school-best 57-13 record and recorded a program record 17-game winning streak.
Rhoton was named the TCCAA Coach of the Year three times, and his teams won seven consecutive Eastern Division titles from 1994-2000. Sixteen of his former players made it to the professional ranks, including current San Francisco Giants pitcher Bryan Morris. During Rhoton's 18 years at Motlow, he coached 114 players who continued their careers as student-athletes at four-year institutions.
Prior to his career at Motlow, Rhoton coached the Franklin County High School baseball team for 11 years, compiling a 213-97 record and winning five district titles and two region championships. He is currently the athletic director at Franklin County High School in Winchester.
Rhoton joins three other members of the Motlow State athletics family who have been inducted into the TCCAA Hall of Fame. Joe Daves started the men's basketball program and coached it for nine years from 1969-78, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987. Carr McCalla, former Motlow men's basketball head coach and athletics director, was inducted in 1998, and former Bucks baseball player and professional baseball player David Weathers was inducted last January.
Don Rhoton compiled an amazing 669-268 record during his 18 years as head baseball coach for Motlow State Community College from 1989-2006. Rhoton, currently the athletics director at Franklin County High School, will be inducted into the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 13, at Nisbett Center on Motlow's Moore County campus. Photo provided.
June 23, 2016
Motlow State Community College student athletes posted another strong performance in the classroom during the 2015-16 year, led by a pair of baseball players who were recently honored by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
Sophomore Charter Helton earned the Superior Academic Achievement Award, which goes to student-athletes who post a grade point average between 3.80 - 3.99. Helton played his high school baseball at Lewis County in Hohenwald. He was injured for much of the season and received a medical hardship, giving him an additional season of eligibility.
Classmate John Reese Gilmer, who played at Coffee County Central High School in Manchester and transferred to Motlow following his freshman season at Tennessee Temple University, earned the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award from the NJCAA, recognizing those who post a grade point average between 3.60 - 3.79.
Motlow's softball team led the school's four athletic programs in overall classroom performance, posting a team GPA of 3.0. Overall, 66 percent of Motlow's sophomore student athletes graduated in May, with multiple others scheduled to complete their associate degree in August.
May 12, 2016
The Motlow Bucks made a strong showing at the TCCAA/Region VII baseball tournament this week, advancing from the play-in game to the third round before falling to Jackson State 9-1 Wednesday morning at Columbia State Community College in Columbia.
The Bucks finished the season with a 20-37 record, the seventh time they have won 20 or more games in the previous eight seasons. Despite the loss to Jackson State, which leads the nation in runs scored this season, the Bucks played their best baseball of the year at the tournament.
After entering the tournament as the No. 10 seed and forced into Sunday's play-in game, the Bucks took care of business when they out-slugged Volunteer State 15-13 Sunday. Motlow built a 10-2 lead, then held off a furious charge by the desperate Pioneers.
The win propelled the Bucks into Monday's opening round, where they fell to No. 2 Dyersburg State 9-5, forcing Motlow into the elimination bracket, where they faced a difficult task against No. 3 Cleveland State.
The Bucks were up to the challenge though, beating the Cougars 7-4 behind the pitching of RJ Moore, JR Gilmer, Bryce Bub and Connor Boyd. The win advanced the Bucks to day three, where the Generals ended Motlow's season by scoring six runs in the second inning.
Head Coach Dan McShea completed his tenth year at the helm of the Bucks' program with an overall record of 229-280-1. Recruiting for the 2017 season is already in full swing, and McShea has signed a number of impressive prospects that should help lead the Bucks back into conference title contention in 2017.
Visit the official website of Motlow Athletics at www.motlowsports.com for rosters, schedules, stats and more. Interact with Motlow Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.
Motlow State freshman Camron Harper lines a base hit during a contest earlier this season at the Driver Baseball Complex on Motlow's Moore County campus. Harper played his prep baseball at Smyrna High School and is one of over a dozen freshman that could return in 2017 to form the nucleus of next season's baseball squad. Motlow's 2016 season ended in the third round of the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament in Columbia. Jeff Reed Photography.