After jumping out to a 14-1 start, and climbing the Perfect Game and NJCAA polls to third and fifth respectively, the Pirates got a dose of their own medicine this past weekend at # 16 Tallahassee Community College, getting swept in a three game set.
Game 1 started out beautifully for the Pirates, as ace Dalton Rentz struck out the side in the first inning. However, it was all downhill from their, as after a leadoff walk, 2 errors on bunts, and a 2 out triple by the Eagles # 9 hitter, the Pirates found themselves on the wrong end of a 5-0 score.
Rentz settled in briefly, but TCC touched him again for 3 more runs in the 4th, giving up 2 homers in the inning.
The Pirate offense never got anything going, as all they could muster was 2 hits on the game, as TCC’s starter took a no hitter into the 6th, until pinch hitter Grayson Ivey delivered a 2 out single, while Sam Knight had a pinch hit single in the 7th.
Game 2 was a game for most of the game. However, the Pirates played from behind all day, as starter, Hunter Mitchell gave up 4 runs in the 1st inning to put the Pirates in an early hole.
Down 4-0, CVCC came right back and cut the lead in half at 4-2 on RBI singles by Jeff Ronpirin and Jake Maziar. Unfortunately, TCC got those 2 runs right back, as Mitchell allowed a 2 run homer.
Still fighting, the Pirate offense got those 2 runs back in the 4th, when Tyler Lynn stole home and JD Perry delivered a run scoring single to cut the lead back to 2 runs at 6-4. Finally throwing a zero up in the 5th to keep the Eagles at bay, Mitchell allowed the 7th run of the game on a walk and back to back singles.
The offense continued to battle and once again cut the lead to 2 runs, when Tyler Lynn scored on Cam Sperry’s single.
Kevin Moore came on in relief and kept the Eagles at bay breifly, but once again, the base on balls was the Pirates undoing, as a 7-5 game quickly turned into 15-5 run ruling in the 8th, as Moore, Will Tillery, and Dan Lynn allowed 8 runs on 7 walks, 4 hits, and an error.
Game 3 certainly appeared to be CVCC’s game to win, as the Pirate offense came out swinging, putting up three runs in the 1st inning, on a bases loaded walk to Sperry and a run single to Maziar.
Although starter Matt Evenson gave one back in the bottom half, the Chatt Valley offense pounded out 4 more runs in the 2nd on Tyler Lynn’s RBI double, Trevor Kieboom’s RBI groundout and Jared Martins 1st of 3 doubles on the game to give the good guys a 7-1 lead.
As was the story of the weekend, the pitching was unable to hold the rope, as Evenson gave up 2 in the third, and 4 in the 4th, with the big blow being a 3 run homer. Knotted at 7 apiece, TCC took a brief lead in the 5th, once again, from walks to go up 8-7.
The offense once again responded, scoring 3 in the 6th on Cam Sperry’s massive 3 run homer and once more in the 7th on John Holland’s sac fly. With the score now 11-8, things seemed to be back in control for Chatt Valley. However, while Trevor Guthrie did an outstanding job in relief, he allowed a pinch hit 2 run homer in the 8th to bring TCC within 1.
Coach Thomas called on Chris Brown in the 8th and after 2 quick outs, the chaos began again. Brown served up a 3-0 fastball for a game tying homerun, walked the next batter, but struck out the next batter, which catcher Jake Maziar was unable to corral to extend the inning, and allow the go ahead run to cross.
The Pirates went quietly in the 9th to drop a heart breaker 12-11. CVCC stands at 14-4 on the season and will open conference play this weekend, as they host Central Alabama on Friday for a 2:00 single game and on Saturday for a 1:00 double header.