In a season filled with accomplishments and milestones, the Chattahoochee Valley baseball team secured another one this weekend in a three game series and season sweep of the Wallace State-Selma Patriots. For the fifth time in Coach Thomas’ tenure, the Pirates have reached the 40 win plateau (2003, 2007, 2008, 2010) in beating Selma, 14-4, 18-8, and 5-3.
Game 1 saw starter, Dalton Rentz, give the Pirates another quality start in tossing 5 2/3 innings in picking up his 9th win of the year. Although he didn’t have his best stuff, Rentz competed his way to the win, scattering 9 hits, with 3 strikeouts and surrendering 1 walk, while allowing 4 runs (3 earned).
Down 1-0 after 3 1/2 innings, the offense took a 2-1 lead when Cody Walker and Sam Knight reached to start the 4th inning. David Levy singled home Walker, while Jeff Ronpirin gave the Pirates the lead on an RBI groundout.
The lead was short lived, thought, as the Patriots fought right back to tie the game on a single, double, and sacrifice fly. However, the offensive flood gates opened from there, as the Pirate offense answered with 12 runs from the 5th through the 8th.
Nick Jones got things going in the 5th with a double. Ty Abbott followed with a HBP and three consecutive RBI hits down the right field line by Sam Knight, David Levy, and Jeff Ronpirin gave Rentz a 6-2 lead with which to work.
Again, though, the Patriots battled back, scoring 2 in the sixth to chase Rentz from the game. Reliever Colt Ramsey came on and put out the fire, tossing the final 2 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball to keep the Selma offense at bay.
Meanwhile, the Pirates put up a 6 spot in the 6th, led by Cody Walker’s RBI single, Sam Knight’s bases clearing double, and Jeff Ronpirin’s 2 run homer to turn a close game into a 12-4 comfortable lead.
While Ramsey shut the Patriots down, the offense continued to do their part and finished off the ten run rule with 2 more runs in the 8th, when Walker, Knight, Levy, and Ronpirin had 4 consecutive singles to complete the win. That quintuplet, who were the 6-9 hitters combined to go 12 for 18 on the day with all 14 RBI’s.
Game 2 was nearly a repeat of Game 1, as Wallace jumped out to the early lead scoring a run off of starter, Ben Taylor, in the top of the first inning. However, the CVCC offense plated 7 runs over their first 2 frames to essentially put the game away early.
Ty Abbott got the action started with a 2 run single, and Cody Walker continued his hot hitting with an RBI single of his own to give Chatt Valley a 4-1 lead. Right back at them in the second, Abbott’s sac fly and Walker’s second of 5 hits scored 2 more runs to push the lead to 7-1.
The lead was more than enough for Taylor, as he was shaky early, but settled in to toss 5 innings of 8 hit baseball, punching out 6 Patriots and allowing 3 runs. Fortunately, the Pirate offense never let up, scoring runs in each inning of the game. In the third, RBI singles by Jared Martin and Nick Jones put a 10 spot on the board for CV, while a sac fly by Dominique Smedley and an RBI triple by Big Time Timmy Jim pushed the lead to 13-3 after 4 innings.
Still not yet finished, the Pirates scored four more in the fifth, with more damage coming from the bottom half of the order, as Walker doubled, and David Levy singled to drive in 2 more runs. Chatt Valley completed their scoring in the 6th by pushing one more run across as Walker, Knight, and Levy struck again on three consecutive hits.
Things got a little iffy in the top of the 7th, while nursing an 18-3 lead, the Pirates committed 3 errors, surrendered 2 walks, and gave up 4 hits, while Selma plated 5 runs to make things interesting. However, Will Thomas came on and induced a game ending 6-4-3 double play to put an end to the madness and secure an 18-8 win, and another 40 win season for the Pirates.
Game 3, was a fight from the start to finish for CVCC, as Selma would not go quietly. Starter Matt Evenson ran into some trouble early, giving up 2 runs with 2 out in the second and surrendering a solo homer in the third.
After Selma took a 2-0 lead, Sam Knight answered back for the Pirates with, yet another, RBI single to cut the deficit to 2-1. After Selma’s homer in the third to push the lead back to 2 runs, Matt Evenson went into shutdown mode and didn’t allow a hit the rest of the game. Evenson went 5 2/3 innings, fanning 8 Patriots against only 2 walks.
The Pirate offense steadily chipped away at the lead, scoring single runs in each inning from the 2nd through the 6th. Down 3-1 in the third, Jared Martin’s sac fly made it 3-2, while Jeff Ronpirin’s 2 out, RBI single in the third tied the game at 3 apiece.
In the fourth, Big Time Timmy Jim led off the inning with a mammoth home run to left center field that cleared the batters back drop for what turned out to be the game winner and decisive run.
In a 4-3 game in the 5th, Ty Abbott drew a bases loaded walk to give the Prates a 2 run cushion and a 5-3 lead.
The Pirates called on Nick Jones to close it out in the 7th. After punching out the first batter, the 8 and 9 hitters reached on a walk and an error. After another strikeout to the lead off hitter, Jones allowed a single to load the bases, with the Selma’s ever-dangerous Quay Lawson up to bat. Nate Morris came in to relieve Jonesy to give a right on right matchup for the Pirates. After a foul ball strike one, Morris challenged Lawson with another fastball that was hit about 3 miles foul down the left field line for a brief scare. Morris promptly came back with a devastating slider to strike Lawson out and end the game, securing the sweep.
On the weekend, the combination of Walker, Levy, Knight and Ronpirin, combined to go 26 for 41 with 23 RBI’s.
Saturday was also CVCC’s 14th annual Sophomore Day, in which Chattahoochee Valley’s 2013 sophomore class were honored and recognized. That group included: David Levy, Gaige Garrett, Tim Massengale, Luke Ewing, Dominque Smedley, Ben Taylor, Chris Laye, Will Thomas, Ty Abbott, Cody Walker, Nate Morris, Nick Jones, and Matt Nettles.
The 19th ranked Pirates are now 41-9 on the season. The 41 wins ties the school record for wins in a regular season. The 2010 club finished the regular season 41-6 and sat at # 2 in the country in the final poll. The Pirates will play host to Southern Union on Tuesday at Columbus State University for a 1:00 pm eastern time start.