After a slow start out of the gate, the Pirates began to roll as they headed to their next two fall tournaments: the University of Montevallo JUCO Fall Classic and the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Fall Classic on the campus of Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama.
UNIVERSITY OF MONTEVALLO JUCO FALL CLASSIC, September 14
CVCC vs. Calhoun Community College
The Pirates entered Coach Thomas’s alma mater after a good week of practice and a good showing in the previous week at the CACC Tourney. A mix up in game times had the Pirates in a “show and go” situation, as the bus arrived merely 20 minutes before the scheduled game time. Fortunately, there were no ill effects on the Pirates, as Dominique Smedley continued his hot hitting, leading off the game with a single and eventually scoring on Nick Jones sacrifice fly.
The pitching staff took over from there, as starter Dalton Rentz tossed 2 innings of 1 run baseball, while striking out 3, while Ben Taylor pitched the next 2 frames of scoreless baseball, striking out 3 of his own.
The offense went back to work in the 4th, plating 2 runs when Nick Jones had a one out single, followed by back to back doubles by Ty Abbott and Cam Sperry to push the Pirate lead to 3-1. After the Warhawks scratched for a run off of Jesse Foster to pull within 1 run, the Pirates put the game away on a 3 run homer by Sperry in the 6th inning. Nate Morris tossed a scoreless 6th inning and after a little drama in the bottom of the 7th, Timmy Massengale shut the door for a 6-4 Pirate victory.
CVCC vs. Marion Military Institute
For the second consecutive week, the Pirates faced divisional foe, MMI and for the second straight week the result was the same – a convincing win for CVCC. Once again, the Pirates struck first with a solo homer by Matt Nettles to lead off the top of the second inning. A double by Nate Morris was followed by another homer off the bat of Chris Laye to push the lead to 3-0. Starter Matt Evenson took over tossing 2 perfect innings to make the lead stick.
The Pirates went back to work in the 3rd inning on an RBI double by catcher Jared Martin and scored once again in the 5th on another Martin RBI single.
The Chatt Valley bullpen was stellar, as Dylan Lee, Cody Sheffield, and Casey Hanna came in to toss scoreless, 1 hit baseball over the next 4 frames. Nick Jones then came in to strike out the side in the 7th, although surrendering an unearned run to finish off a 5-1 win over the Tigers.
ABCA FALL CLASSIC, September 21
CVCC vs. Alabama Southern Community College
After 2 good weeks of baseball, the Pirates looked to keep the good feeling going against old southern division foe, Alabama Southern. Starter Matty Evenson set the tone early, throwing 2 beautiful innings of dominant baseball, in which he completely overpowered the Eagles with his fastball and slider. Dalton Rentz jumped on board as well doing the same over the 3rd and 4th innings of work. Not to be outdone, Dylan Lee and Cody Sheffield continued to hold the Eagles scoreless and only surrendered 1 hit through 6 innings of baseball.
On the offensive end of things, CV did their damage in the 4th and 5th innings, as Dominique Smedley led off the 4th with a HBP, followed by a basehit bunt by Matt Nettles. Both later scored on a Ty Abbott RBI single to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.
The Pirates plated 3 more in the 5th with some 2 out magic, as Jerric Johnson, who drew a leadoff walk, scored on an error by the Eagle shortstop, and on a 2 RBI single by Jeff Ronpirin.
A 5-0 lead got real interesting real quickly, though, as Alabama Southern pushed 2 runs across in the bottom of the 7th. However, Timmy Massengale quickly extinguished the fire by punching out the final two batters of the game in a 5-2 CVCC win.
CVCC vs. Calhoun Community College
The Pirates faced Calhoun for the second consecutive week and this time the pitching staffs would rule the day. For the Pirates, Nate Morris and Casey Hanna set the stage early with dominant pitching in their 2 innings of work apiece, allowing only 2 hits to the Warhawk offense.
Then came one of the most anticipated moments of the fall, the pitching debut of Hunter Mitchell. Mitchell made his first appearance in a baseball game in nearly 2 years after having Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He did not disappoint, throwing a perfect 5th, while striking out 1.
Calhoun scratched for a run in the top of the 6th off reliever, Trevor Guthrie. However, the Pirates responded with a run of their own in their half of the 6th on a James Cunningham 2 out RBI single to knot the game at one apiece. However, there would be no more scoring on the day for either team as Kevin Moore closed the door in the 7th. And is the case in JUCO fall baseball, there are no extra innings, as the game ended in a 1-1 tie.