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Collins propels Cherokee to win over Volunteer

By TANNER COOK • Updated Apr 3, 2019 at 1:59 AM

ROGERSVILLE — The Cherokee baseball team finished off the sweep of its Hawkins County and Big 7 Conference rival Tuesday night on the Reservation, taking a 12-2, five-inning win over Volunteer.

Senior pitcher Nick Collins, who did not start against the Falcons last season, dominated both on the hill and at the plate Tuesday, striking out 11 and going 1-for-2 — a three-RBI triple in the bottom of the fifth inning.

“I’ve been struggling a little bit these last two games and I just told myself to stay inside and let it rip,” Collins said. “I get the best of both worlds sometimes. Sometimes, I’m really focused on pitching and I overthrow it. I’ve been giving up a lot of walks lately, but I’ve got my team behind me. ... This one feels pretty good, especially considering it’s my senior year.”

The Falcons had a forgettable night in the field, committing six errors. Of the 12 runs allowed, only two of them were earned.

Volunteer starter Tucker Bellamy threw 97 pitches, struck out four and walked five.

Ryan Morgan also had a big night at the plate for Cherokee, going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI on two singles and a double.

Volunteer (1-10, 0-8) mustered only four hits. Rylan Greene accounted for the only RBI on the night via a bases- loaded walk. Bellamy got the only extra-base hit, a double in the fourth inning.

Much like Monday night’s win over the Falcons, Cherokee changed its fortunes with a big defensive play: this time an inning-ending 3-6 double play.

Cherokee’s offense then exploded for seven runs with help from three Volunteer errors.

The Chiefs (8-8, 4-5) host Sullivan South on Wednesday. First pitch for the nonconference game is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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