Contact: C. Scott Shasteen
Motlow College Athletic News
Motlow Bucks return to the Driver Complex in need of a successful home stand
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.
The Motlow Bucks (18-20, 7-7) are fully aware of those facts following two weeks on the road that saw them drop two out of three games to a pair of TCCAA rivals. The Bucks now return home for the last time this season; scheduled to play eight games over an eight day span. After that, the final two conference series are on the road at Walters State and Southwest Tennessee.
The home stand comes on the heels of a trip to Columbia State that saw Motlow win one contest in the three-game series. The Bucks took Friday's nine-inning opener 13-5, then dropped both games of Saturday's doubleheader 6-4, 10-4.
Motlow will host Jackson State for a single game at 2 p.m. on Friday, then host the Generals for a noon doubleheader Saturday. On Tuesday, Motlow steps outside the conference for the last time for a doubleheader against visiting Calhoun. The home portion of the 2017 season concludes the following weekend, with Volunteer State visiting for a single game on Thursday and a doubleheader Friday, April 14.
Friday's win against the Chargers featured a potent Motlow offense that pounded out 18 hits and scored 13 runs. C.J. Brown led the hit parade at the top of the lineup with four hits, with five other Bucks getting two hits each. Marlon Nava homered and drove in two runs, raising his average to a team-high .382, while Paul Rahman had a bases clearing double and drove in three runs.
Camron Harper (3-6) pitched the full nine innings and got the win, scattering 11 hits and allowing three earned runs with four strikeouts and zero walks. Harper's performance was the first nine-inning complete game by a Bucks pitcher this season.
Saturday's first game saw the Bucks jump out in front 2-1 in the second inning before the Chargers tied it with a run in the third and then took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth inning. Motlow managed only five hits, with two of them solo home runs by C.J. Brown and Jacob Freeland. Jase Carvell took the loss, tossing three innings and allowing two earned runs. Alex Valcarcel pitched the last three innings and gave up three runs with four strikeouts.
The series finale saw the Chargers explode out of the gate with three runs in the first inning. The Bucks scored two in the second, but Columbia State added three in the third and four in the fourth to seal the series win. Motlow committed five errors during the game, helping the home team.
Brown, who had eight hits during the series, had two in this game including a double, while Nava also had two hits and drove in a run. Gavin Bedsole (1-3) took the loss on the mound, lasting 3.1 innings and allowing seven earned runs and two walks. Matt Westberry gave up one earned run in the final 2.2 inning and had three strikeouts.