The 2012 CVCC pitching staff came into the season with high expectations looming. The past two weeks have shown exactly why.
Dating back to February 12th in the second game of a double header versus ABAC, Pirate pitchers have given up exactly TWO earned runs. That covers a span of seven games and 53 innings. Furthermore, they have tossed 34 consecutive innings without allowing a single earned run, dating back to the final inning 1-0 loss to Chipola College. And finally, they are in the midst of 18 consecutive scoreless innings after posting back to back shutouts versus LaGrange College and yesterday’s 3-0 win versus Andrew College.
In yet another battle with a top tier starter, Pirate ace, Mike O’Neal, matched up with Andrew College’s freshman sensation, Phillip Anderson. The game was another classic pitching duel, as both pitchers posted zeros through 5 1/2 innings. CVCC finally broke through in their half of the 6th. After Martin Castro reached on a 1 out error, Nick Jones came up with, once again, another big hit to push Castro to third base. Josh Sanders put the Pirates on the board with a single to plate Castro for a 1-0 lead. After a double steal on a dirt ball read, Pat Olvaney came up with runners at 2nd and 3rd, and delivered a huge RBI ground out to give O’Neal all the run support he would need.
O’Nea certainly looked like the 2011 version of himself, as he threw 7 strong innings of 6 hit baseball, in which he struck out 3, walked one, and induced a ton of ground ball outs. Catcher Cody Walker continued his defensive prowess behind the dish, as he picked off another opposing baserunner, as well as cementing a brick wall behind the plate to lead the defensive efforts. Big Ben Taylor took over in the eighth inning after O’Neal walked the leadoff batter. Taylor promptly quieted any Tiger threats by blowing 92 mph fastballs by the Andrew hitters, as he retired AC in 1-2-3 fashion.
CVCC scratched for another run in the eighth to give them a 3-0 cushion for Trace McDaniel in Andrew half of the 9th. After back to back singles on consecutive pitches, McDaniel went to work and struck out the side to notch his second save in three games.
The Pirates, winners of 4 straight and 7 of their last 9, improve to 11-8 on the season. CVCC will play host to Georgia Perimeter College on Saturday, February 25th, at 2:00 pm eastern.