2017 Motlow State Baseball News

Jake Fossick tosses one-hitter as Bucks beat Marshalltown, host Wallace State Tuesday

Feb. 13, 2017

Motlow State sophomore Jake Fossick allowed only one hit and one run to lead the Bucks to an 11-1 win over visiting Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College Saturday afternoon at the Driver Baseball Complex on Motlow's Moore County campus.

Jake Fossick
Sophomore Jake Fossick allowed only one hit through five innings to lead the Motlow State Bucks to an 11-1 win over Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College Saturday afternoon at the Driver Baseball Complex. The Bucks will be back in action Tuesday when they host Wallace State at noon for a doubleheader. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
The Bucks (2-6, 0-0) had opportunities to win two more games in the four-game series, but failed to hold leads in the final inning. Marshalltown won both games Friday, 6-5 and 13-0, then came from behind to win the series finale Saturday 7-6.

Motlow will return to its home diamond on Tuesday, hosting Wallace State-Hanceville for a noon doubleheader. The two teams split a pair of games last week in Alabama. The Bucks will be on the road next weekend, heading to Niceville, Florida for a pair of games against Northwest Florida State and Andrew College.

Bryan Rosario pitched his second strong game in a row for the Bucks in Friday's opener, going 5.1 innings and allowing three runs with three strikeouts. He left with the Bucks leading 5-3, but reliever Camron Harper (0-1) couldn't hold that lead as the Tigers scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Luke Allison and Colin Guscoff homered for the Bucks, with each garnering two hits and two RBI. Allison also stole a base and scored two runs.

Friday's second game was not the Bucks' finest hour, with the Tigers hitting everything in sight on their way to a 13-0, five-inning win. Chandler Hardiman (0-1) took the loss on the mound, securing only one out before allowing four earned runs. Gavin Bedsole pitched the final 4.2 innings, giving up nine runs on 13 hits. The Bucks managed only five hits.

Saturday started as a much better day for the home team as Fossick held the visiting Tigers in check. The Bucks scored early and often, notching two runs in the first inning, one in the second, six in the third and two more in the fourth to win it in five innings.

Guscoff hit his second homer of the season, with CJ Brown also slamming a round-tripper and driving in three runs. Guscoff and JD Robertson each drove in two runs, with Brown, Robertson and D'Marcus Guillory collecting two hits each.

The Bucks jumped out in front 2-0 in the first inning of Saturday's nightcap, then fell behind 3-2 before regaining the lead with two runs in the third inning. Marshalltown tied it with a run in the top of the sixth, but the Bucks retook the lead with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Motlow couldn't secure the win though, as the visitors scored three in the top of the seventh to win the series 3-1.

Tyler Zak got the start for the Bucks and pitched well, allowing four runs on six hits with four strikeouts. Harper came on in relief with one out in the sixth and took the loss, while Jase Carvell got the final out of the inning. The Bucks were unable to answer in the bottom of the seventh.

Jacob Freeland slammed his second home run of the season for Motlow, while Zach Ehrhart had a triple and Kirby Smith a double. Allison drove in a pair of runs, while both Freeland and Robertson had stolen bases.

Rosario, Harper pitch Bucks to first win, home opener is this weekend

Feb. 7, 2017

Three Motlow State pitchers combined to allow only one hit and one run as the Bucks opened the 2017 baseball season with a 2-1 win over Wallace State-Hanceville Friday afternoon in Hanceville, Alabama.

The Bucks (1-3, 0-0) couldn't match that performance the rest of the weekend, dropping the second game of the doubleheader with Wallace 10-0, then dropping a pair of games to Lawson State 8-3, 6-5 Saturday afternoon in Birmingham.

Motlow will open the home baseball schedule on Friday when Marshalltown, Iowa visits for a noon doubleheader. The same two teams are scheduled to play another twin bill at the same time on Saturday. All home baseball games are played at the Driver Baseball Complex on Motlow's Moore County campus, and there is no admission charge.

The season opener was a thing of beauty for Motlow fans as freshman Bryan Rosario (1-0) tossed five innings of one-hit ball, striking out four and walking two, to get the first win of his career. Gavin Bedsole got two outs in the sixth before giving way to Camron Harper, who got the final four outs for his first save by allowing no hits and only one walk.

The game was scoreless until the fifth inning, when the Bucks plated both their runs. C.J. Brown drove in Luke Allison, who had two hits on the day, with an RBI double, followed by a single from Colin Guscoff that drove in Brown. Motlow had seven hits, two each by Allison and D'Marcus Guillory, who also added a stolen base.

Game two was not quite as memorable for the Bucks as the home team allowed Motlow only one hit, a single by Zach Ehrhart, in a 10-0 victory. Tyler Zak got the start for the Bucks, lasting 1.2 innings and allowing six runs on nine hits. Matt Westberry allowed four runs in 1.1 innings, followed by Alex Valcarcel who pitched an inning without allowing a hit.

Saturday in Birmingham, Motlow's defense let down in the opener, committing four errors in an 8-3 loss. The Bucks scattered eight hits, with Ryan Hartigan driving in both Motlow runs. Jake Fossick (0-1) took the loss, allowing two earned runs and four walks in 2.1 innings. Harper was a victim of poor defense in his 2.2 innings pitched, as none of his four runs allowed were earned, although he did give up six hits. Valcarcel again pitched the final inning without allowing a hit.

In game two, the Bucks jumped out in front with three runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth to lead 5-0. Ehrhart, Guscoff and Brown each hit doubles, while Jacob Freeland and Brown each drove in two runs, with Freeland slamming the first home run of the season for the Bucks. JD Robertson had two hits for Motlow and drove in a run.

Lawson State scored five in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the score, with four of the runs being charged to starter Chandler Hardiman, who left with one out in the fourth inning. Bedsole (0-1) came on in relief and took the loss despite pitching pretty well, allowing only two hits and one earned run in 2.2 innings. Lawson State scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning.


Revamped Motlow State Bucks baseball team hopes to contend for TCCAA title

Jan. 30, 2017

With only nine players returning from last year's roster, including four who were redshirts in 2016, Motlow State head baseball coach Dan McShea may still be learning player names as the Bucks prepare to open the 2017 season. Practice for the new season officially began Jan. 10.

The Motlow starting nine will take the field for the first time on Friday, Feb. 3, when they travel to Hanceville, Ala., for a doubleheader against Wallace State, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. The first home game will be Feb. 10, with Marshalltown (IA) Community College visiting the Driver Baseball Complex at noon.

"It's always interesting to see how each team will come together prior to playing the season," said McShea. "This is especially so with the number of new faces we have this year. This group of young men has really put in a lot of hard work in the classroom and on the field, and they have come together nicely as a team. We will need to remember this when we start playing games and continue to be unselfish players. That is a trait of every great team."

RETURNERS

McShea has five sophomores returning who were active members of last year's squad; shortstop J.D. Robertson and left-handed pitcher/outfielder Camron Harper, both from Smyrna, and pitchers R.J. Moore from Tullahoma, Drew Jarrett from Clarksville and Matt Westberry from Murfreesboro.

The four redshirts, who were Motlow students last year but for various reasons were granted a redshirt season, are catcher Seth DeYong from Smyrna, pitcher/infielder Lane Whitesell from Lewisburg, and a pair of Charlotte, Tenn., outfielders Mathis Duncan and Paul Rahman.

"It's an exciting time to be part of the Motlow family and, like our players, I am really looking forward to getting started," McShea continued. "We have a very difficult schedule early on and we should be able to learn a lot from playing some high caliber teams. If we want to be successful in this conference we will need to mature quickly on the mound and our offense will need to perform well out of the gate."

TRANSFERS

McShea has brought in 12 transfers from across the country, including eight who played a season at another junior college previously, two who attended other schools previously but weren't on baseball rosters or who redshirted, one who played a season on the NAIA level and one Division I transfer.

Joining the nine returners and 12 transfers, the Bucks will feature seven true freshmen, with almost half coming from high schools within Motlow's 11-county service area and a pair from Georgia.

Among the transfers, six come from Volunteer State in Gallatin; infielder Luke Allison, outfielder C.J. Brown, catcher Marlon Nava, first baseman Cory Coggins, catcher/infielder Colin Guscoff and middle infielder Zach Ehrhart. McShea also landed a pair of transfers from Florida Southwestern College in right-handed pitcher Jake Fossick and third baseman Jacob Freeland.

Additional transfers include outfielder Ryan Hartigan, who attended the University of Virginia; Jase Carvell, who comes to Motlow from Trevecca Nazarene University after playing high school baseball at Lawrence County; Sam Patton, a Murfreesboro product who spent a year at Cumberland University in Lebanon; and Gavin Bedsole, who attended a semester at Point University in West Point, Ga.

FRESHMEN

Headlining the incoming freshman class is a pair of right-handed pitchers from Puerto Rico; Bryan Rosario is from Vega Baja and Alex Valcarcel comes from San Juan. Another pair of freshmen come to Motlow from Mountain View High School in Buford, Ga.; outfielder D'Marcus Guillory and right-handed pitcher Tyler Zak.

The three remaining true freshmen competed against each other for the past four years in District 8-AAA. Left-handed pitcher Chandler Hardiman and catcher Kirby Smith are from Fayetteville and played at Lincoln County, while Darin Keller played at Tullahoma High School.

"We have several guys that are being recruited heavily, and I am as excited about those possibilities as my players are," McShea added. "Being able to help these guys reach personal goals, as well as team goals, is one of the great rewards of coaching. The hard work that these guys have put in is starting to pay off."

McShea and assistant coach Cody Gaskill have put together a roster that could return Motlow to the position it enjoyed in 2014, when the Bucks posted a 40-24 overall record and made it to the East Central District playoff, just one step away from the national tournament in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Motlow home games are played at the Driver Baseball Complex on the Moore County campus. Admission is free to all Motlow athletic contests. Most home Saturday contests are doubleheaders with a noon start time, while most weekday games are single nine-inning contests that begin at either 1 p.m. or 2 p.m.

2017 Bucks Baseball Team
2017 Motlow Bucks - Members of the 2017 Motlow Bucks baseball team: D'Marcus Guillory, Luke Allison, C.J. Brown, Ryan Hartigan, Bryan Rosaio, Marlon Nava, Jake Fossick, Jacob Freeland, Cory Coggins, Colin Guscoff, Sam Patton, J.D. Robertson, Alex Valcarcel, Matt Westberry, Paul Rahman, Camron Harper, Seth DeYong, Zach Ehrhart, Tyler Zak, Darin Keller, Lane Whitesell, R.J. Moore, Chandler Hardiman, Kirby Smith, Mathis Duncan, Jordan Burdette and Drew Jarrett. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Motlow State Bucks open 44th baseball season Feb. 3 in Alabama

Jan. 5, 2017

The Motlow State Community College baseball program will open its 44th season of competition on Friday, Feb. 3, when it travels to Hanceville, Ala., for a doubleheader against Wallace State Community College. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Dan McShea
Motlow State Community College baseball Head Coach Dan McShea will begin his 11th season at the helm of the program when his team travels to Hanceville, Ala., on Feb. 3 to play a doubleheader with Wallace State. The first home game is Feb. 10, when Marshalltown (IA) visits the Driver Baseball Complex for a noon doubleheader. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
Head Coach Dan McShea enters his 11th year at the helm of the program, having compiled an overall record of 229-280-1 in his 10 seasons, including a 20-37 mark in 2016. McShea will be assisted full time once again this season by Cody Gaskill and by volunteer assistant Hayden Pewitt.

After visiting Wallace State, the Bucks will continue to Birmingham where they will play a doubleheader with Lawson State on Feb. 4. The home opener is Friday, Feb. 10, with a doubleheader scheduled against Marshalltown (IA) Community College at noon at the Driver Baseball Complex. The two teams will play another twin bill the following day.

Tennessee Community College Athletic Association play begins Mar. 3, at home, when a three-game series with Chattanooga State begins with a 1 p.m. single nine-inning contest. A pair of seven-inning games will be played the following day. All TCCAA series are scheduled for three games using the single nine inning game on the first day and a pair of seven inning contests the second day format.

The longest road trip for the Bucks will be Feb. 17-18 when they travel to Niceville, Fla., to play four games in two days. The opposition will be Northwest Florida State College, the host school, and Andrew College.

There are two long home stands scheduled. The first and longest is Feb. 24-Mar. 7, with nine games on the docket including the first conference series with Chattanooga State. The Bucks will also be at home for seven games in seven days from Apr. 7-14, including TCCAA series with both Jackson State and Volunteer State.

The season ends with Motlow's two longest conference road trips; Walters State in Morristown and Southwest Tennessee in Memphis, on back-to-back weekends beginning Apr. 21. The TCCAA/Region VII Tournament is scheduled for May 7-10 at Volunteer State in Gallatin, and the national tournament begins May 27 in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Although Motlow began its baseball program during the first spring the school was open in 1970, there was no baseball played between the years 1983-1986. The program restarted in 1987 and has been vibrant since.

Motlow has 55 games scheduled for the 2017 season, three less than the maximum of 58. There are 27 home games scheduled, including 11 doubleheaders and five single games. Admission is free to all Motlow athletic events and the concession stand is always open.

Former Motlow State baseball coach Don Rhoton to be inducted into TCCAA Hall of Fame Jan. 13

Dec. 21, 2016

Former Motlow State Community College head baseball coach and athletic director Don Rhoton will be inducted into the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 13, at Nisbett Center on Motlow's Moore County campus.

The ceremony will be held at halftime of the women's basketball contest between the Motlow Lady Bucks and visiting Walters State. Both teams are nationally ranked and the winner will be in sole possession of first place in the TCCAA standings. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with the men's game to follow.

"We are extremely proud to welcome Coach Rhoton back to Motlow and to see him finally receive this honor of being inducted into the TCCAA Hall of Fame," said Scott Shasteen, athletics director at Motlow. "Don built a baseball powerhouse here and helped change the lives of hundreds of young men. We invite all of his former players and those who have followed his successful career to come out and support him on this memorable night."

Rhoton was the head coach of the Motlow baseball program during its most successful stretch. From 1989 until 2006, Rhoton's teams won 669 games while losing only 268. He also served as Motlow's athletic director from 1995-2006.

His teams won TCCAA/Region VII championships in 1998 and 2000, and finished as the national tournament runner-up in 2000, falling to San Jacinto, Texas in the national championship game. The 2000 team posted a school-best 57-13 record and recorded a program record 17-game winning streak.

Rhoton was named the TCCAA Coach of the Year three times, and his teams won seven consecutive Eastern Division titles from 1994-2000. Sixteen of his former players made it to the professional ranks, including current San Francisco Giants pitcher Bryan Morris. During Rhoton's 18 years at Motlow, he coached 114 players who continued their careers as student-athletes at four-year institutions.

Prior to his career at Motlow, Rhoton coached the Franklin County High School baseball team for 11 years, compiling a 213-97 record and winning five district titles and two region championships. He is currently the athletic director at Franklin County High School in Winchester.

Rhoton joins three other members of the Motlow State athletics family who have been inducted into the TCCAA Hall of Fame. Joe Daves started the men's basketball program and coached it for nine years from 1969-78, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987. Carr McCalla, former Motlow men's basketball head coach and athletics director, was inducted in 1998, and former Bucks baseball player and professional baseball player David Weathers was inducted last January.

Don Rhoton
Don Rhoton compiled an amazing 669-268 record during his 18 years as head baseball coach for Motlow State Community College from 1989-2006. Rhoton, currently the athletics director at Franklin County High School, will be inducted into the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 13, at Nisbett Center on Motlow's Moore County campus. Photo provided.

Motlow State baseball's Helton, Gilmer earn national academic recognition

June 23, 2016

Motlow State Community College student athletes posted another strong performance in the classroom during the 2015-16 year, led by a pair of baseball players who were recently honored by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

Sophomore Charter Helton earned the Superior Academic Achievement Award, which goes to student-athletes who post a grade point average between 3.80 - 3.99. Helton played his high school baseball at Lewis County in Hohenwald. He was injured for much of the season and received a medical hardship, giving him an additional season of eligibility.

Classmate John Reese Gilmer, who played at Coffee County Central High School in Manchester and transferred to Motlow following his freshman season at Tennessee Temple University, earned the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award from the NJCAA, recognizing those who post a grade point average between 3.60 - 3.79.

Motlow's softball team led the school's four athletic programs in overall classroom performance, posting a team GPA of 3.0. Overall, 66 percent of Motlow's sophomore student athletes graduated in May, with multiple others scheduled to complete their associate degree in August.


Bucks' Region VII Tournament run ends at hands of Jackson State

May 12, 2016

The Motlow Bucks made a strong showing at the TCCAA/Region VII baseball tournament this week, advancing from the play-in game to the third round before falling to Jackson State 9-1 Wednesday morning at Columbia State Community College in Columbia.

The Bucks finished the season with a 20-37 record, the seventh time they have won 20 or more games in the previous eight seasons. Despite the loss to Jackson State, which leads the nation in runs scored this season, the Bucks played their best baseball of the year at the tournament.

After entering the tournament as the No. 10 seed and forced into Sunday's play-in game, the Bucks took care of business when they out-slugged Volunteer State 15-13 Sunday. Motlow built a 10-2 lead, then held off a furious charge by the desperate Pioneers.

The win propelled the Bucks into Monday's opening round, where they fell to No. 2 Dyersburg State 9-5, forcing Motlow into the elimination bracket, where they faced a difficult task against No. 3 Cleveland State.

The Bucks were up to the challenge though, beating the Cougars 7-4 behind the pitching of RJ Moore, JR Gilmer, Bryce Bub and Connor Boyd. The win advanced the Bucks to day three, where the Generals ended Motlow's season by scoring six runs in the second inning.

Head Coach Dan McShea completed his tenth year at the helm of the Bucks' program with an overall record of 229-280-1. Recruiting for the 2017 season is already in full swing, and McShea has signed a number of impressive prospects that should help lead the Bucks back into conference title contention in 2017.

Visit the official website of Motlow Athletics at www.motlowsports.com for rosters, schedules, stats and more. Interact with Motlow Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.

Bucks baseball
Motlow State freshman Camron Harper lines a base hit during a contest earlier this season at the Driver Baseball Complex on Motlow's Moore County campus. Harper played his prep baseball at Smyrna High School and is one of over a dozen freshman that could return in 2017 to form the nucleus of next season's baseball squad. Motlow's 2016 season ended in the third round of the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament in Columbia. Jeff Reed Photography.
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