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Raider baseball gets late offensive explosion to sweep Pioneers; lock up first place

Cole Pippenger throws out a Pioneer baserunner from shortstop on Monday, April 17, 2023. -- Photo by Holly Peterson, THUNDER RADIO WMSR

Everyone was wondering Coffee County would do on day two of district games without ace Jacob Holder in the arsenal.

Welcome to the spotlight Carter McKenzie.

The senior right-hander went 4.1 innings Tuesday night, scattering 4 hits and allowed one earned run to pick up the win as the Raiders exploded late to beat the Pioneers 7-1 on the road.

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The win for Coffee County pushes the Raiders to 9-1 in district play and locks up the regular season first place spot. By taking first, the Raiders will also be guaranteed a spot in the Region 3-4A semi-finals.

Tuesday night at Warren County, Coffee County busted open a tight 2-1 game with a 4-run sixth inning. Pinch hitter Blake Hillis singled in Nate Rutledge, then Cole Pippenger doubled home Jayden Fellers, who was running for Hillis. Aiden Robertson doubled home Caleb Moran to put the Raiders up 6-1.

Pippenger finished the night with a pair of doubles, 2 runs scored and an RBI. Robertson knocked home 4 on a double and a single.

Timothy Henderson pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. Henderson struck out 5 of 8 possible outs and allowed just one Pioneer hit.

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The Raiders will host Marshall County Thursday at 6:30 p.m. before hosting Moore County at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Central Magnet at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The Raiders play their final district series next week against Shelbyville.

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