By: Nick Kieser
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA — Start a new season is just what the Volunteer State Community College baseball program has done. The journey began in Pensacola, Florida and the first three games (Feb. 8-9) have taken place in two days.
In game one the Pioneers (1-2) took over as the opponent Coastal Alabama -East was no match for the eager pitchers. Winning 17-3 the Pioneers took game one on the season and a milestone came for one specific player on the team.
"All the hard work that's what stood out to me as I was rounding the bases. It actually all came into play then and also to know that all the hard work really paid off and it felt good," said shortstop Justin St. Amour after nailing a home run in his first collegiate at-bat as a Pioneer.
Lane Harris also was subject to find hitting a home run but in this case hitting two compared to his teammate from earlier in the game. Dalton Heath started game one and finished his first appearance in five innings with three strikeouts.
For the next game, the Pioneers faced Pensacola State and lost 8-3 last evening (Feb. 9). Brett Wilkins made his debut pitching and totaled two strikeouts in the loss. Chase Haley who redshirted the previous year pitched two innings in relief with two strikeouts and was replaced by Jake Terell to finish the game.
To close the Saturday series Chattahoochee Valley College came into Pensacola to play. As part of losing the first consecutive games of the season, Chattahoochee was victorious 4-1. St. Amour hit a double in the seventh inning to get the runners in position to score a run and prevent the shut-out from happening. Noah Brock scored the lone run from a dropped ball error by the Chattahoochee catcher.
"It wasn't bad overall for a first start. I had the pregame jitters a little going into the first college game, but I know I can improve to be the best I can," said pitcher Corey Wilson after his first start as a Pioneer. Wilson is a product of Houston High School in Memphis, Tennessee.
Wilson tossed three strikeouts against the seventh-ranked team in junior college baseball in his first collegiate game. Chattahoochee won the day before playing the Pioneers against a notorious powerhouse in Chipola College.
"It felt good and especially for confidence. It was a true eye-opener for where we should be at and compete against. Hanging in there with them definitely gives you some confidence," said Wilson.
The Pioneers play Chattahoochee again before headed home for an eight-game homestand the rest of the month. Follow the Twitter @VSCCPioneersBSB for live in-game updates and analysis.