Vol State had a chance to sweep the Columbia State Chargers this past weekend but came up short in Game 3 of the series. The Pioneers got off to a great start Friday behind sophomore Drew Hall. Hall was phenomenal once again improving to 3-0 with a miniscule 0.83 ERA going 6 very strong innings before giving way to the Pioneers bullpen. Game 1 began with Hall plunking the Chargers leadoff hitter to open the series. However, he went on to dominate a very good offensive club striking out 6 straight at one point. Hall didn't give up any runs, allowed 2 hits, walked 1 (1 HBP) and added 10 strikeouts. Vol State got the offense started early with sophomore Daniel Lankster doubling in the first inning. Freshman Jake Lyle added a RBI single and the Pioneers led 1-0 after 1. Colin Hopkins then led off the 2nd inning with a double and scored on a wild pitch. The Pioneers added 2 more in the 2nd to take a 4-0 lead after 3. Alex Lyon provided the dagger in the bottom of the 6th with a three run home run to increase the lead to 8-0. Freshmen Drew Sims and Kody Keiser kept the Chargers scoreless in the 7th and 8th to set up the Pioneers 10 run rule win by adding 2 more runs in the bottom half of the 8th. The Pioneers took Game 1, 10-0.
Game 2 on Saturday was a different ball game; the pitching was excellent on both sides after shaky starts. Freshman Jacob Cole took the mound for Vol State and got behind early by giving up 2 runs (1 Earned Run) in the 1st inning. Lyle led off the 2nd inning with a solo home run, and two batters later freshman Collin Hopkins added another solo shot to even the score at 2-2. Freshman Alec Harris provided a go ahead solo home run in the 4th inning and Freshman Matt Brown added yet another solo shot for the Pioneers in the 5th to take the lead 4-2. The Chargers scratched a run in the 6th, but Cole was able to hang on and go the distance for his first complete game of 2017 and pushing his record to 3-0. Vol State was poised to sweep the conference opener after winning game 2, 4-3. All 4 Vol State runs came on solo home runs, certainly a first for the Pioneers in 2017.
Vol State moved to 2-1 in conference play and will have a very talented Dyersburg State (16-2, Conference 3-0) program coming to town for weekend 2 of conference play. The 9 inning Game 1 is set for Friday at 2:00 pm, 7 inning games, 2 and 3, are set for Saturday starting at 12:00 pm. Weather could become an issue so stay tuned to the baseball programs Twitter feed for any updates on game times and or dates.