In a key conference series with Marion Military Institute that appeared early to be a comfortable game 3 sweep clinching win for Chattahoochee Valley, quickly turned into a dogfight. After winning game 1, 7-2, the Pirates had to rally for a 6-4 win behind the extraordinary relief effort of freshman Kevin Moore and clutch hitting and defense by David Levy.
With the Pirate offense sputtering as of late, the Chatt Valley pitchers have picked up the slack to carry the load. Big Ben Taylor got the start and put up zeroes for the first 5 innings of his outing. The offense gave him a 3 run cushion in the second inning when Nick Jones led off with a single and was followed by back to back walks to Ty Abbott and Cody Walker. After consecutive pop ups on the infield, James Cunningham drew a bases loaded walk to put the Pirates on the board. Luke Ewing then smashed a clutch two out single to score 2 runs and put the Pirates up 3-0.
Taylor went on cruise control from their with plenty of help from his defense, as the rocket armed Walker threw out a Marion baserunner attempting to steal and then picked off another baserunner at first on an oversized lead to stymie 2 Tiger threats. Shortstop David Levy made play after play at shortstop to keep MMI off of the board.
Marion finally got to Taylor in the 6th, scratching for 2 runs on 3 hits to close the book on Taylor for the day. Nate Morris came on in the 7th and promptly punched out 3 of the 4 outs he recorded and gave way to Nick Jones to face the predominately left handed heart of the Tiger order. Jones went 4 up and 4 down, recording 3 strikeouts of his own.
The offense gave the bullpen 4 insurance runs, with 2 coming in the 6th on an RBI double by Jerric Johnson and an infield single by James Cunningham. The final 2 runs gave the Pirates plenty of breathing room when David Levy smashed an RBI double and Sam “Wham” Knight followed him with a pinch hit RBI double of his own to finish off the scoring and game with a 7-2 win.
Game 2 began in comfortable fashion, as starter, Matt Evenson shut the Marion hitters out for the first 2 innings, while the Pirate offense scored 4 runs in the second inning to seemingly put the game away early. After scoring on 2 passed balls, Big Time Timothy James Massengale stroked a 2 out, 2 RBI single to give the Pirates a 4-0 lead.
Unfortunately, the Tiger hitters tied the game up on 2 walks, a hit by pitch, and 3 hits. Reliever Kevin Moore came on to pitch in the 3rd and delivered arguably the most dominant relief appearance of the year for CVCC, as he delivered 4 innings of shutout baseball. Of the 12 outs he recorded, 10 of them came via the strikeout.
In a 4-4 game with 2 outs in the 5th inning and Cody Walker on second base, David Levy delivered the game winner with a sharp ground ball up the middle to plate Waker and gave the Pirates a 5-4 lead for good.
While Moore was busy striking out the world, Jared Martin delivered an insurance run in the 6th to extend the lead to 6-4.
After Moore allowed a leadoff double in the 7th and struck the next hitter out, he gave way to Chris Brown, who induced back to back infield pop ups to the heart of the Tiger order to end the game and secure th 6-4 win and series sweep.
The wins put the Pirates over the 30 win plateau for the 11th consecutive year, as they now sit at 30-4 and 8-4 in conference play. Chatt Valley will travel to MMI on Tuesday for a single game at 2:00 pm eastern time.