The Pirates took the opportunity on Saturday to travel to LaGrange College to play a 10 inning scrimmage against the Panthers, enabling them to get a game like feel and a different look before the true opener this Friday, January 31st when CVCC hosts Jeff Davis Community College. The results were all positive, as the Pirates looked solid in all three phases of the game in a 12-1 shellacking of the Panthers.
The Pirate offense got going early and often, when after a one out single by shortstop John Holland, first baseman Jake Maziar absolutely crushed a fastball over the right centerfield wall for a 2 run homer to give the Pirates all the runs they would need.
Pirate Ace Dalton Rentz went to work and tossed four shutout innings, surrendering only three hits, 1 walk while striking out four Panthers. After a laser show in the second by the Pirate offense that produced three hard outs the offense put 4 more runs on the board in the third, when Kenny Ford had a one out single, followed by a Holland walk and Maziar smoked another rocket off of the right center field wall for a 2 run double, while Trevor Kieboom followed with an RBI single and Jared Martin crushed an RBI double of his own to push the lead to 6-1 good guys.
Flame throwing Matty Evenson took over for Rentz in the 5th and absolutely dominated in his three innings of work, allowing a only a single and a walk while punching out 3 Panthers to keep the shutout intact.
After being held scoreless in the 4th and 5th, the Pirates got right back after them in the 6th, when Martin drew a leadoff walk and was followed by a Drew “Johnny” Lingo single and a Tyler “Don’t call me Dan” Lynn 2 run single to extend the lead to 8-0. After a Sam Knight walk, Drew Dunagan hammered a double off the left center field wall to score Lynn. The Pirates were not done yet, as Kenny Ford finished off the 5 run 6th with a 2 run single of his own to push the lead to 11-0.
Will Tillery came on to make his CVCC quasi-debut and after a shaky 8th, allowing an unearned run on a crossed up sign with his catcher, Willy T settled in and got some superb play from Lingo at 3rd base to stymie any LaGrange hopes of a rally.
The Pirates got on the board one last time in the 10th, when Maziar collected his 4th hit of the day with a mammoth home run on the first pitch he saw to begin the inning to push the lead and final score to 12-1.
Closer Chris Brown came on in the bottom half and did his thing, going 1-2-3 with a punch out to seal the deal.
The Pirates enter their final week of preparation and will open the 2014 season in the newly renovated Howard Lake Field on Friday, January 31st against Jeff Davis for a 2:00 eastern first pitch.