The Pirates have put the wraps on the 2012 Fall Season as they enter their off-season workouts and conditioning through December. With a freshman heavy team, the pre-season work was critical in the development of the young players and the progression of our few experienced sophomores. It was extremely successful and productive for the Pirates, as the groundwork was laid for what looks to be another quality run at the ACCC Championship at The Lake this spring. Over the next few days we will take a look back at how the fall scrimmages went against outside competition.
CVCC vs. Andrew College, August 30 & 31
In CVCC’s traditional fall opener, the Pirates traveled to Cuthbert, GA for their annual double header versus the Andrew College Tigers. Game 1 was what was to be expected, lots of pitching and little offense. Ben Taylor got the start for CVCC and tossed 4 innings of 3 hit baseball, striking out 3 and surrendering only a single unearned run. Jesse Foster made his collegiate debut in 2 innings of work, giving up 1 hit and 1 run, which proved to be the eventual game winner, as Andrew edged the Pirates 2-1. Offensively, Jeff Ronpirin collected his first hit and RBI in a 1-3 effort.
Game 2 saw an easy 3-1 win turn into a tough 4-3 walk off defeat for CVCC. Freshman righty, Dalton “Big Donkey” Rentz earned his first start and was stellar for the Pirates in his 3 innings of work, punching out 3 and surrendering a single run. After the Pirates put up 2 runs in their half of the 3rd on a 2 run homer by Cody Sheffield, the bullpen cruised for the next 3 innings with Casey Hanna tossing 2 beautiful shut out innings of relief, followed up with a Houdini act by freshman lefty Crawford Traylor, as he wiggled out of a bases loaded, nobody out jam to keep the Tigers scoreless. A sac fly by Kaine Gibson in the top of the 6th gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead that was surrendered in the bottom of the 7th on a walk and a pair of doubles by Jonathan Kizzar. With the score knotted at 3, the game winner crossed home plate on a past ball by Gibson.
Game 3 had the Tigers come to The Lake the very next day for another double header as another freshman arm, Dylan Lee, made his CVCC debut. Like the starters before him, he tossed 3 quality innings and surrendering only a single run. Although Kevin Moore’s sac fly put the Pirates in a 1-1 game in the second, that was briefly lived as the bullpen didn’t do Lee any favors, as CVCC gave up 2 runs in the 4th and 1 in the 5th to put CV in a 4-1 hole.
Chatt Valley came battling back in the 6th cutting the lead in half at 4-2 on a Cam Sperry RBI single, but unfortunately the rally was halted, as the Pirates left the bases loaded. Nate Morris took the mound and was brilliant for 5 of his 6 outs, as he went 5 up and 5 down, punching out 2 in the process. Unfortunately, the Tigers caught up with his fastball and plated 3 runs to turn a close game into a comfortable 7-2 lead. CVCC did not go quietly, as they scratched for 2 runs in the 7th on Nick Jones 2 run single. Both Sperry and James Cunningham enjoyed a 2 hit day for the Pirates.
The Pirates finally got in the win column against a pesky Andrew team in Game 4 as the Pirates did all the scoring they would need in the first inning, plating 4 runs on 4 free passes and a single by Dominique Smedley, while sending 10 hitters to the plate. The pitching staff took over from there, as starter Payne Kosobucki tossed 3 shutout innings to start the game. Cody Sheffield followed with one inning of work, surrendering an unearned run, with Trevor Guthrie and Cam Sperry pitching the 5th and 6th respectively, in shutout fashion.
With no real offense to speak of by either team, the 7th saw hard throwing Matt Evenson make his CVCC debut striking out the side with 90+mph fastballs and a nasty slider to close out the victory for CVCC.
CENTRAL ALABAMA FALL CLASSIC, September 6
CVCC vs. Marion Military Institute
The Pirate offense finally got on track as they headed over to Alex City for CACC’s annual fall festival of baseball and took on Central Division foe, Marion Military Institute. Dylan Lee, once again, got the start for the Pirates and threw 3 more solid innings, allowing a single run in the third inning. Offensively, Dominique Smedley got things started right off the bat, smoking a double on the first pitch of the first inning and eventually scored on a double steal of home, with Nick Jones swiping second. Kaine Gibson joined in the festivities with an RBI single in the second and after another Smedley double and basehit bunt by Gaige Garrett in the third, the Pirates plated 2 more runs to push their lead to 4-0. A rough 4th inning on the mound for Kevin Moore and Joey Stringfellow saw the Pirates surrender the lead, giving up 4 runs on only 1 hit, as the MMI Tigers drew 5 free passes in the inning. Fortunately, Stringfellow settled in with Payne Kosobucki following him up by putting zeros on the board in the 5th and 6th.
Meanwhile, the offense went back to work in the 4th after temporarily surrendering the lead, as the Pirates turned on a lazer light show with rocket after rocket being hit to plate 3 runs and regain a 7-5 lead. Smedley collected his 3rd hit of the game, with Luke Ewing contributing a single and Garrett smoking an RBI double off the right field wall.
Chatt Valley added to their lead in the 5th with 3 more runs on RBI singles by Chris Laye and Sam Knight. After a meaningless run by MMI in the 7th, Timmy Massengale closed out a 10-6 win for the Pirates.
CVCC vs. Wallace-Hanceville
In maybe the best pitched game a fall game may have ever seen by two teams, the two traditional pitching powers in the Pirates and Lions put on absolute clinic on the mound. Ben Taylor tossed the first two innings striking out 4 of the 7 hitters he faced, with Dalton Rentz throwing the next 2 frames and did one better than Taylor, punching out 5 of the 6 outs he recorded.
Offensively, it was much of the same for CVCC, as the Lion staff handcuffed the Pirate hitters threw 4 innings, recording 6 K’s of their own. However, the door opened in the top of the 5th for CV, as the Pirates had the bases loaded with 2 outs. Unfortunately, the threat ended with a strikeout on a full count pitch. The next half saw the Lions scratch for 3 runs against lefty, Will Thomas, which was the only offense Wallace could manage all day. Neither team really threatened again, as Matty Evenson threw another dominate late inning of relief, in a 3-0 defeat.
Cam Sperry, Timmy Massengale and Gaige Garrett chipped in the only 3 hits for the Pirate offense on the day. On the flip side, Wallace only managed 4 of their own, but unfortunately, 3 of them came in the fateful 3 run, 5th inning.