It may have taken a couple of starts for sophomore righty, Zach Helewski, to find his groove, but he has been nothing but purely overpowering since.
After a 3 hit, 11 strikeout performance last week against West Georgia Tech, he followed it up yesterday with 8 shutout innings of 4 hit baseball, in which he set a career high in strikeouts with 13, as the Pirates shutdown the Stallions of ABAC 3-2 in Tifton, Georgia. With his fastball reaching as high as 94 mph, the Stallion hitters had absolutely no answer for Helewski, as ABAC never threatened to score in his 8 innings of work. The Pirates did all of their scoring early and in one inning, as CVCC put together some 2 out offense against yet another number 1 starter, in ABAC’s Josh Pape. A JD Perry single and Jared Kahn walk, set the stage for David Levy’s RBI single, which was directly followed by Martin Castro’s 2 RBI single. The 3-0 lead was plenty enough for Helewski, as he struck out at least one Stallion hitter in each of his 8 innings. With a comfortable 3 run lead heading into the bottom of the 9th, the Pirates went to the bullpen to shut the door, but it was certainly not without some drama.
After a strikeout to begin the inning, a hit, error, and walk loaded the bases with only 1 out for ABAC. Trace McDaniel entered the game and got what appeared to be the game ending double play ground ball. However, it was misplayed and 2 runs scored, to bring the tally to 3-2 with ABAC runners on the corners still with only one out. McDaniel calmly punched the next hitter out and induced a harmless ground ball to second base to end the Stallion threat, as well as the game.
The Pirates record surfaces above .500 at 9-8, as they travel to LaGrange College on Wednesday, February 22 for a 5:00 pm game.