After a conference opening series win against defending national champion Central Alabama, the Pirates took to the road to face an always tough Southern Union club in Wadley, Alabama for key three game set. Behind the strength of the pitching staff and clutch hitting, Chatt Valley took 2 of 3 from the Bison by the scores of 4-1, 11-1, while dropping game 3, 2-0.
In game 1, it was all Dalton Rentz, all day long, tossing a complete game, 5 hitter, allowing only a single unearned run, striking out 7 Bison in the process, earning his league leading 5th win of the season.
While Rentz was dealing, the offense got on the board in the 4th inning to give Big Donkey all of the runs he needed, when Jake Maziar reached on a lead off single and Trevor Kieboom hammered a 2 run homer over the left center field wall to put CVCC up 2-0.
Later in the inning, Cam Sperry singled and later scored on the first of Sam Knight’s 3 hits to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead. The offense got going again, when Knight tripled with one out and later scored on Jeff Ronpirin’s reach on error to extend the lead to 4-0.
In the meantime, Rentz continued to dominate, throwing zeroes on the board unitl the 6th, when Tyler Lynn misplayed a ball in left field allowing the Bison’s only run of the game. With the game within 3 runs, Donk buckled down and didn’t allow another threat the remainder of the game and finished what he started to lead the Pirates to series opening 4-1 win.
Game 2 was another outstanding pitching effort, this time by Dylan Lee, coupled by an offensive explosion. The Pirates took the lead early and for good in the top of the first, when John Holland reached on a one out walk, and Jared Martin was hit by a pitch. Trevor Kieboom then smashed a run double to give Lee all he would need.
Up 2-0, Lee went into cruise control retiring 15 straight Bison at one point, while the offense jumped on Southern Union ace Matt Kelley for 3 more runs in the 4th inning, when Jeff Ronpirin drove in Grayson Ivey and Kenny Ford with a 2 out single and Jared Martin drove in Ronpirin to put the game out of reach at 5-0.
However, the Pirates piled on 6 more in the 6th inning on an RBI single by Holland and three consecutive RBI walks by Drew Lingo, Cam Sperry, and Ivey. When the smoke cleared, the Pirates held a commanding 11-0 lead.
However, in true Southern Union fashion, they would not quit, and scratched for a run in the 6th before Lee struck out the final two batters of the 6th inning to stymie the threat.
Needing 3 outs to end the game via the mercy rule, the Bison did not go quietly, loading the bases with one out. But Dylan Lee dug down and induced 2 pop ups to end the game for a series winning 11-1 final.
Game 3 was just as masterful for Chatt Valley on the mound, as Kevin Moore went the distance himself, allowing only 5 hits and 2 runs with 4 strikeouts, and retired the side in order from the 4th through the 6th.
Unfortunately, Bison starter, John Peterson was a little bit better, tossing a no hitter, in which he struck out 6 Pirates and allowed only 2 walks. It was the first no hitter against the Pirates since 2001, when Wallace-Dothan pulled the trick at Howard Lake Field.
Moore was nearly unhittable himself, but 2 Texas League flares for hits and a perfect basehit bunt in the third led to the only 2 runs of the game for Southern Union.
The Pirates were not without their chances though, as JD Perry walked in the third and the 6th and stole second and third with less than 2 outs, but unfortuantely was left stranded.
Meanwhile Peterson continued his domination and finished off his no-no for a 2-0 win.
The Pirates series win puts them at 19-7 overall and 4-2 in ACCC Central Division play. The Pirates will step out of conference to head down to Brewton, Alabama on Tuesday for a 2:00 single game.