Little things continue to plaque the Pirates, as 6 walks, a misplayed bunt, and unexecuted pitches contribute in a 7-5 loss to Central Alabama in the Central Division opener in Alexander City. Michael O’Neal got the start against the Trojans, going only 5 innings and surrendering 4 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, while striking out only a single CACC hitter. The Achilles Heel for CVCC, was its inability to retire the leadoff hitter, as the Trojans managed to get its leadoff hitter on base in 5 of its 8 offensive innings. Central Alabama capitalized on its opportunity each time, by plating that leading lady in all 5 instances.
CVCC found itself playing catch up all day. After falling behind 1-0 in the first, the Pirates tied the score at 1, on a Martin Castro infield single, and were inches away from taking the lead, if not for a diving stab by the CACC shortstop. The Pirates gave the lead right back on a sac fly by CACC’s Chase Handley. Offensively, the Pirates fought all day, and certainly had their chances, but field conditions and great infield play cost CV several scoring opportunities.
After scoring runs in the 7th and 8th, and pulling within 5-3, the bullpen was unable to keep the Pirates within striking distance, by giving back 2 more runs and falling behind 7-3. CVCC would not go away without a fight, as they loaded the bases in the 9th, scored 2 runs, and had the tying run at 2nd base with 2 outs. After 2 pitching changes, Central AL finally induced a harmless grounder to retire the Pirate threat.
Third baseman, Josh Sanders continued his hot hitting with a 3 for 5 day. Taylor Hinshaw responded offensively with a 2 hit day, including a monstrous homerun to straight away centerfield through 20 mph winds. Defensively, the Pirate infield continues to gel as it played errorless defense for the third consecutive game.
Chattahoochee Valley falls to 13-10 on the year and 0-1 in conference play. The Pirates will host Southern Union State Community College on Sunday, March 4th for a 1:00 eastern double header.