Contact: Dan McShea
Head Baseball Coach
Motlow Bucks open home stand this week preparing for TCCAA opener next weekend
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.
The Bucks (3-11, 0-0) are coming off their farthest road trip of the season, winning one out of four games last weekend in Niceville, Florida. Motlow will host Morton College, Illinois, this weekend in a pair of non-conference doubleheaders Friday and Saturday, beginning at noon.
TCCAA play opens the following weekend, with Chattanooga State the visitor for a three-game series. Friday, March 3, the two teams will meet at 1 p.m. for a nine-inning contest, then get back together on Saturday at noon for a pair of seven-inning games.
The Bucks faced stiff competition in Florida, falling to Northwest Florida State 7-3 on Friday, Feb. 17, before turning around and beating Andrew College 7-5 later that afternoon. The following day Motlow faced the same two teams, dropping a 13-3 decision to NWFS before falling 4-3 to Andrew College.
Bryan Rosario (1-2) took the mound in Friday's opener and went the distance, allowing only four hits and five earned runs with six strikeouts and six walks. Jacob Freeland had two hits for Motlow and C.J. Brown drove in a pair of runs.
The Bucks got a home run and three RBI from Marlon Nava, and solid pitching from Jake Fossick and Matt Westberry, to get the win late Friday afternoon. Motlow scored twice in the bottom of the first inning but Andrew scored the same to tie the score in the top of the second.
The Bucks came back with two in the third before Andrew closed the gap to 4-3 with a run in the fourth. Motlow extended its lead to 7-3 with three runs in the fifth inning, and Andrew fought back with two in the seventh before Westberry closed the door.
Fossick (2-0) went five innings and allowed only two hits and one earned run with five walks and four strikeouts. Westberry pitched the final two innings to get his first save of the season, allowing four hits and two earned runs with a pair of strikeouts. In addition to Nava's first homer of the season, the Bucks got RBI from Colin Guscoff, Brown, Kirby Smith and D'Marcus Guillory.
Northwest Florida came out swinging their bats on Saturday, scoring nine runs in the bottom of the second inning and three more in the third. Motlow managed only two hits, one by Nava and one by Brown. Tyler Zak (0-2) took the loss on the mound, pitching two innings and allowing eight hits and four earned runs. Chandler Hardiman pitched the final 2.1 innings, giving up five hits and one earned run.
In Saturday's finale, Andrew College jumped on Motlow starter Jase Carvell for three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Motlow tied the score with a run in the third and two more in the fourth inning before Andrew broke the tie and scored the winning run in the bottom of the fourth.
Luke Allison had a pair of hits and drove in one of Motlow's runs, with RBI also coming from Lane Whitesell and Smith. Carvell pitched two innings and allowed three runs before Camron Harper (0-4) came on to pitch the final four innings and took the loss, despite pitching very well by allowing only four hits and one run with seven strikeouts.