With Perfect Game USA’s first regular season poll placing the Pirates at 3rd in the country, the NJCAA released its first poll yesterday evening and the Swashbucklers of Chattahoochee Valley checked in at # 5. The Pirates took their top five rankings to Douglasville, Georgia on Tuesday to take on the Golden Knights of West Georgia Tech and came away with a 4-1 pitcher’s duel victory.
Dylan Lee got his second start of the year and was absolutely dominant in 7 2/3 innings of work. He surrendered one earned run, while scattering 6 hits, striking out three Knights without a single free pass and induced 14 ground ball outs.
What appeared early to be another Pirate offensive onslaught, was quickly stymied and the battle between Dylan Lee and Tech’s ace Kyle Peals was on. Chatt Valley struck early as they plated a run in the top of the first on Tyler Lynn’s sacrifice fly, which scored Jeff Ronpirin.
Again, in the second, the Pirates added another run on James Cunningham’s RBI ground out to score Jake Maziar, who had prevously reached on a walk.
With the score 2-0, both pitchers went into shutdown mode. Dylan Lee retired 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced, before back to back singles in the 5th, a sac bunt, and an RBI groundout, cut the lead to 2-1. Again, Lee went back to work and retired the next 7 Knights in order.
The offense finally got to the Tech bullpen, as Jeff Ronpirin led off the 8th with a single and Tyler Lynn drew a one out walk. With runners at second and third with 2 out, Jared Martin came up clutch, and smashed a 2 run double to give the Pirates a little breathing room at 4-1.
Lee went back out in the eighth and had 2 out with only 1 on before he surrendered a 2 out single. Lee handed the ball over to Trevor Guthrie, and after walking the first batter, the bases were loaded and Guthrie promptly punched out the Knights’ # 3 hitter to sytmie the threat.
Closer, Chris Brown, pitching in his home town, came on and tossed a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout to earn his league leading 4th save of the year and preserve the 4-1 win for the Pirates.
The Pirates are now 14-1 on the year and were scheduled to travel to Andrew College today, however that game has been rained out. The Pirates next games will be this weekend, as they travel to Tallahassee Community College on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for a 3 game set against the # 16 Eagles.