Just when you think the Chatt Valley Pirates are going to have a “normal” day of baseball, they go right back to their crazy, come from behind, extra inning, walk off, winning ways.After an 11-3 thrashing of the ABAC Stallions in Game 1 of Saturday’s double header, the Pirates blew a 5-0 lead, only to score 5 runs in the bottom half of the 7th to force extra innings and eventually come from behind, once again in the bottom of the 11th to complete the sweep with a dramatic 12-11 walk off win.
The Pirates sent freshman Dalton Rentz to the mound in game 1 and he continued his dominant pitching while earning his second victory of the season. Rentz tossed 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, while striking out 4 and walking two.
The offense stayed hot against ABAC’s ace, Matt Moses, scoring 7 runs in his four innings of work. The Pirates got on the board early when Dominique Smedley drew a lead off walk in the first and scored on Nick Jones RBI ground out to put the Pirates up 1-0.
While Rentz put up zeroes for the first four innings, the offense put up four more runs in the second, all with 2 outs. Three consecutive free passes to James Cunningham, David Levy, and Smedley set the table for a bases clearing double by Gaige Garrett who also scored on a Jared Martin RBI single to push the lead to 5-0. CVCC plated 2 more in the 4th inning on Martin’s RBI double and Jones’s RBI ground out to extend the lead to 7-0, good guys.
After ABAC pulled within 7-3 in the 5th, Nick Jones came on to snuff out the fire with a 1-2-3 6th, while the Pirate offense added 2 more in the 5th inning on Cam Sperry’s triple, scoring Timmy Massengale and on Smedley’s single to score Sperry. Not yet finished, the Pirate offense added 2 more in the 6th when James Cunningham smashed a double to score Jones and Luke Ewing to push the final score to 11-3.
Game 2 looked to be a yawner early on, as the Pirates took a quick 5-0 lead after 2 innings, led by Ty Abbott’s 2 run double in the first inning.
That seemed to be plenty enough run support for starter Hunter Mitchell, who threw a solid game, but ended up on the bad end of poor infield defense and ultimately suffered an undeserved no decision. Mitchell threw four innings of 3 hit baseball while striking out 5 Stallion hitters. Unfortunately, 3 errors in the 4th inning gave way to 4 unearned runs.
Still leading 5-4, the Pirates surrendered the lead in the 5th, as ABAC scored 3 runs off of reliever Casey Hanna to take a 7-5 lead into the 6th inning.
The Pirates attempting to keep the game within reach, seemingly lost the grasp as ABAC plated 3 more runs in the top of the 7th inning to take what appeared to be an insurmountable 10-5 lead.
But in true Pirate fashion, the boys in Carolina Blue and Gold kept fighting and after the Pirates loaded the bases on 3 walks, Gaige Garrett got the comeback rolling with an RBI single, followed by an RBI walk to Jared Martin to pull the Pirates within 3. After Garrett scored on a passed ball, a red hot Nick Jones came up to bat with the tying run on second base. Jones promptly smoked a double in the gap to knot the game at 10 and send the Pirate dugout into utter chaos and complete frenzy.
Cody Sheffield then proceeded to toss 2 beautiful innings and gave way to Nick Jones for his second appearance of the day. Apparently, the only thing that Jones doesn’t do for the Pirates these days is drive the team bus, as he single handedly carved the Stallion offense to pieces over the next 3 innings.
Unfortunately, Jonesy gave up his first run in 2 weeks on a 2 out single to the ABAC #9 hitter to, once again, give the Stallions a temporary lead headed into the bottom of the 11th inning.
Not done yet, the Comeback Kids went right back to work. After Smedley struck out to lead off the inning, Garrett reached on a hit by pitch and Mr. Clutch, Jared Martin, absolutely hammered a triple into the right center field gap to score Garrett to tie the game with the game winning run only 90 feet away with 1 out. After the Stallions elected to intentionally walk Jones and Abbott to load the bases, Big Time Timmy Jim Massengale hit the first pitch he saw over the right fielders head for the game winning hit, setting off absolute bedlam in the middle of Golden Park’s infield as the Pirates celebrated in good fashion, a 12-11 come back, walk off, extra inning win.
The Pirates move to 11-0 on the season and will host Gulf Coast State College on Tuesday, February 19th at Golden Park for a 2:00 pm eastern first pitch.