Pioneers Win Their 6th Straight, Move to 6-1 After First 2 Weeks

Pioneers Win Their 6th Straight, Move to 6-1 After First 2 Weeks

Friday vs Moraine Valley:

Ben Wiley got his first start of the young 2017 season and he did not disappoint.  The 6'7 sophomore recorded 9 strikeouts, spreading out 5 hits, 1 walk, and one hit batter on his way to 6 innings of shutout ball.  Alex Lyon got things going in the 4th inning with a leadoff triple that resulted in the first run of the ballgame.  The Pioneers then took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 5th with Lyon singling to drive in Eddie McDaniels.  The 7th inning of the scheduled 9 inning game did not go well for the Neers.  Moraine Valley was able to plate 4 in the 7th and 1 in the 8th to take a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth.   Vol State proved to be resilient early in the 2017 season; Luke Alexander got things going with a lead off hit.  Daniel Lankster followed with a double and Matt Brown found his way on with an infield hit.  Eddie McDaniels pushed in the first run with a bunt hit and then the Neers caught a break when Joe McNamee found his was on with a catcher Interference call on Moraine Valley.  Luke Jones successfully executed a squeeze play to tie it in the 9th and send it to extra innings.  Kody Keiser provided a strong 11th out of the pen for the Pioneers striking out 2.  Vol State was able to score a run in the 11th when Alex Lyon scored on an error by the shortstop.  

Saturday - Game 1 vs Moraine Valley:

Freshman Jake Lyle got things going in the 1st for the Neers as he belted a solo home run.  Alex Lyon got things going in the 2nd with a leadoff double that led to a run.  Alec Harris led off the third with a single and scored on an Eddie McDaniels single.  Alex Lyon doubled to bring in McDaniels and Vol State led 4-0 after 4.  Brad Strickland led off the 6th with a single and scored on a double by Daniel Lankster.   Vol State's pitching staff was once again lights out; the Pioneers sent sophomore starter Drew Hall to the mound.  Hall went 4 solid innings, striking out 3 while only allowing 1 hit and 1 walk to pick up his first win of 2017.  The bullpen was able to shut down Moraine Valley over the next 3 innings behind a very strong effort from Kody Keiser.  Keiser cruised not allowing a hit or a walk and had two strikeouts.  

Saturday - Game 2 vs Lake Land College:

Vol State's bats went quiet until the 3rd inning when Matt Brown led off with a single.  Jake Lyle then singled in Brown after Baylor Steelman's great at bat that got Brown to second base.  Richard Constantine broke out of an early season slump with a big single to plate Lyle and the Neers led 2-0 after 3.   Noah Sims got things going in the 4th reaching on a single, then moved up on a Colin Hopkins sacrifice bunt.  Sims later scored on a passed ball to push the lead to 3-0 after 4.  Vol State added 2 more runs in the 5th and led 5-0 after 5.  Sophomore James Hatcher looked dominant again for the Pioneers cruising thru 5 innings.  Hatcher ran into trouble in the 6th giving up 3 runs before Chase Douglas came in with two outs to shut down Lake Land's 6th inning rally.  The resilient Pioneers responded in the bottom half of the 6th loading the bases to set up a huge 1 out bases clearing double by Alex Lyon.  Douglas allowed a leadoff walk followed by a single to start the 7th before getting a double play and then the final out on a pop out to first base.  Hatcher held on for his second win of 2017 and Douglas picked up his 2nd save as Vol State won their 5th straight to move to 5-1.

Sunday vs Lake Land College:

The weekend finale proved to be a pitcher's duel.  The Pioneers were able to strike first in the 4th when Richard Constantine doubled to start the inning and Daniel Lankster singled him in.   Freshman Jakob Cole turned in another strong performance going 6 strong innings giving up 1 run, 4 hits, and only allowing 1 walk.  The Pioneers got Cole his second win of 2017 when they plated 2 in the bottom of the 6th to give Vol State a 3-1 lead.  Chase Douglas shut the door in the 7th picking up his 3rd save of the season and extending the Neers win streak to 6 moving to 6-1 after 2 weeks of play.