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No. 9 Senators take opener against Columbia State, 11-7
 March 29, 2013

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. – The ninth ranked Walters State Senators appear to be hitting their offensive stride, or at least coach Ken Campbell hopes they are.
After recording 20 hits in Monday’s TCCAA win over Jackson State, the Senators added 17 hits in Thursday’s home region series opener with Columbia State to record an 11-7 victory in a game that featured 31 hits between the two teams.

With the win, Walters State improves to 22-9 on the year and 10-3 in Tennessee Community College Athletic Association play, which keeps them on top of the standings.

The loss drops the defending regular season TCCAA champion Chargers to 16-11 overall and 5-8 in league action.

The Chargers got on the board first, plating a run in the top half of the first inning. Dustin Delgado walked and moved to second on a single by Seth Staggs. After a fly ball moved Delgado to third, T.J. Diffenderfer delivered a sacrifice fly that put Columbia State on top 1-0.

The Senators tied it in the bottom of the first. Elijah Sutherland doubled to lead off the frame and scored on a single by Reid Mathews to knot it at 1.

The Chargers reclaimed the lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Caleb Warnimont slapped an RBI single in the fourth and Scott Gibson singled and scored on a wild pitch in the fifth to make it 3-1.

The lead didn’t last long for the Chargers, as Walters State stormed back in the bottom of the fifth. The Senators plated six runs, with Michael Smith leading off the frame with a solo homer. Jared Allen added a sacrifice fly scoring Sutherland, and Colin Bennett tagged a two-run homer to give WSCC the lead. Smith added a two-run double, pushing the lead to 7-3.

The Chargers loaded the bases in the sixth with no outs but could not score. Senators reliever Chase Cunningham coaxed a double play and another grounder to get out of the inning, but Columbia State made up for it in the seventh.

Gibson drove in a run with a double and scored on an error to make it 7-5, which knocked Cunningham out of the game. Zach Walton came in and retired the final two batters of the inning to keep the Senators up by a pair of runs.

Walters State got the runs back in the bottom of the seventh. Jake Farr reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to third on a double by Smith. After Sutherland was intentionally walked to load the bases, Matt Harrell and Allen followed with back-to-back two-run singles to extend the lead to 11-5.

The Chargers pushed across a pair in the ninth on a single by Staggs and a grounder by Alex Vondohlen, but they could not make up the six-run deficit.

Bennett, Smith and Farr had three hits each for the Senators, while Mathews and Allen each added two in the win.

Taylor Patterson (5-2) allowed three earned runs on seven hits in five innings to get the win. Walton recorded the save.

Staggs and Desi Ammons both had three hits in the loss for Columbia State, while Delgado, Gibson and Warnimont added two each in the defeat.

Tyler Stewart took the loss after scattering four earned runs on six hits in 4.1 innings of work.

The Senators and Chargers will finish their three-game series Friday with a doubleheader at Senator Field. First pitch of the double dip is set for noon.

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