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Zack Sterner picked up his first win as head coach of the Roane State Raiders Tuesday afternoon with a 6-2 victory over visiting Bryan College JV.
The Raiders pounded out 11 hits on the day and jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings of play. Roane State added single runs in the fifth and seventh innings to claim victory.
“It was good,” Sterner said of getting that first win. “I’m excited to have this opportunity to be a head coach.”
J.T. O’Reel scored Roane State’s first run in the bottom of the first inning. O’Reel singled and scored on a double from former Kingston Yellow Jacket Derek Basler.
The Raiders put a 3-spot on the score board in the bottom of the second inning.
Logan Fleener got things started with a single. He stole second and scored on a single from Lance Mays. Landon Bryon drove in the next run with a single then Basler picked up his second RBI of the contest with a single that made the score 4-0.
The Lions from Dayton closed the gap to 4-2 with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning, but they would get no closer.
Roane State added to its lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Another former Kingston Yellow Jacket, Aaron Fielden, got things going with a double and he eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Mays.
Fleener walked and scored his second run of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning to make the final score 6-2.
Basler (2-3, 1 2B, 2 RBIs), Mays (2-3, 2 RBIs, 1 run) and Fielden (2-4, 1 2B, 1 run) had multiple hits for the Raiders in picking up the win.
Four Raiders combined to throw a 6-hitter with nine strikeouts past the Lions. Mason Sawicki (3 IP, 1 Hit, 5 Ks) was credited with the win.
While Tuesday’s win felt good, Sterner has a young squad and knows gaining experience quickly is the key to a good season.
“We’ve got a young group,” he said. “We’ve got 24 freshmen and only five or six sophomores so there are going to be some bumps in the road. But we also recruited really well so it won’t happen as much.
“Defensively, we’re going to be a really strong team, especially up the middle and we’ve got some good sophomores leading the way. We’ve just got to get the freshmen to join in quickly.”
Tuesday’s contest was the first of 10 straight home games for the Raiders. Weather permitting, Roane State (1-2) will play a pair of doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday against Marshalltown Community College from Iowa.