After another good weekend at Huntingdon College, the Pirates rolled into Auburn University for their annual outing on the Plains, in which they would get a rematch with Wallace-Hanceville in the early game and then take on Shelton State in the nightcap.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY JUCO INVITATIONAL, Friday, September 28
CVCC vs. Wallace-Hanceville
The rematch with Wallace State could not have been more similar to its previous matchup at Central Alabama. It was an absolute pitchers duel, once again, between both clubs. Starter Dalton Rentz took the ball as the stater for the Pirates tossing 3 scoreless innings of 3 hit baseball.
The Pirate offense struck first, pushing a single run across in the top half of the third inning, as Dominique Smedley led the inning off with a walk and promptly stole second and third on consecutive pitches and then scored on a Ty Abbott single.
Nate Morris then entered in relief of Rentz and pitched 2 innings of no-hit, shuthout baseball in which he punched out 2 Lion hitters. The Pirates had the opportunity to put the game away in their half of the 7th, when Cody Walker, James Cunningham, and Jerric Johnson all put together back to back to back singles. However, a baserunning miscue by a pinch runner saw the Lions escape without scoring a run.
Unfortunately, the lead was relinquished in the bottom half of the 7th, as Dylan Lee was unable to close it out, surrendering two runs for a walk-off 2-1 Lion win.
CVCC vs. Shelton State
In a matchup of two of the states biggest baseball powers, the Pirates came out swinging early and often and made a huge statement to the rest of the league. Big Ben Taylor set the tone early, blowing 90+ mph fastballs by the Buccaneer hitters for 3 shutout innings, in which he allowed only a single hit, while striking out 3.
The offense gave the Pirates all the runs they would need in the 2nd inning, as Jared Martin singled to start the inning, followed by Chris Brown’s reaching by error and a walk to Kaine Gibson to load the bases. An RBI walk to JD Perry and Nate Morris along with an RBI groundout by Kevin Moore gave the Pirates a 3-0 lead.
The Bucs struck back, though, as they scratched for 2 runs off of Matt Evenson in the 3rd. However, Evenson settled in and completely overpowered the Shelton hitters through the 5th inning.
The Pirates went right back to work in the 3rd, when Luke Ewing singled and stole 2nd, followed by Sam Knight reaching on a fielders choice. Jeff Ronpirin continued his hot hitting and drove Ewing and Knight in on an RBI single, with Chris Brown following up with a sac fly to score Ronpirin to push the lead to 6-2.
The 5th saw the Pirates extend their lead to 8-2 with some 2 out offense, as Sam Knight singled, Jeff Ronpirin doubled and Nate Morris drove them both in with a 2 RBI single.
Cody Sheffield pitched a scoreless 6th to bring Hunter Mitchell back out for his second fall outing. He did not dissappoint, as he tossed a scoreless inning to close out an 8-2 Pirate win over Shelton State.