There is a definite ebb and flow in the world of baseball, in terms of the offense carrying the pitching staff and the pitching staff carrying the offense. After a weekend at Tallahassee Community College in which the pitching staff seemed to be able to nothing productive, the Pirate Arms have responded in a big way since the beginning of conference play, and continued that dominant effort in a three game sweep of Wallace State-Selma this weekend by the scores of 11-1, 9-3, and 5-0.
In Game 1, Ace Dalton Rentz toed the rubber and tossed his third consecutive complete game in convincing fashion, tossing a four hitter, striking out 6 and allowing only a single run.
The Patriots took a brief lead in the second inning, when a leadoff walk scored on a hit and run double by the very next hitter. The lead was short lived, though, as the offense posted a 3 spot in the 4th, when John Holland led off with a double, followed by Jared Martin’s single, and Trevor Kieboom’s walk to load the bases. A hot hitting Cam Sperry then delivered a 2 run single and Drew Lingo added and RBI single of his own to give CV a 3-1 lead.
That would be all Rentz needed, as he retired the Patriots in order over the next 4 frames. Clinging to a 3-1 lead, the offense erupted for a game sealing 5 run 7th keyed by RBI’s from Kieboom, Sperry, and a sac fly by Sam Knight. Not done yet, the Pirates added three more in the 8th to mercy rule Wallace, when Tyler Lynn tripled home Kenny Ford, Martin singled home Lynn, and Sperry ended the game on a sac fly to left to complete a 4 RBI day.
Game 2 was another complete effort by the surprising up and comer, Dylan Lee, who went 7 2/3 innings allowing 2 earned runs, while scattering 8 hits and inducing 16 ground ball outs go along with his 3 K’s and zero walks.
After Lee sat the Patriots down in order through the first two innings, Wallace once again drew first blood, going up 1-0 on an unearned run. However, Lee kept the damage at the minimum and continued to put zeroes on the board over the next 4 innings.
It took five innings, but the offense finally got rolling, as James Cunningham led off the inning with a single, with Ty Lynn and John Holland loading the bases with singles of their own. However, the Pirates only scratched for one run on Jared Martin’s sacrifice fly. It was a wake up call for the CV bats, as they exploded in the 6th for 4 runs to put the game away. Grayson Ivey and Kenny Ford got things going with singles, while Lynn and Martin had run scoring hits to give Lee all the support he would need.
The Pirates added one in the 7th on Cam Sperry’s mammoth solo homer that one hopped the IPAC building in the right field parking lot.
After 8 innings, Selma finally got to Lee for 2 runs to end another superb outing and handed the ball over to Kevin Moore for the final 4 outs of the game, in which 3 came via the strikeout.
Adding a little insurance, Chatt Valley put 3 more on in the bottom half of the 8th, led by Grayson Ivey’s 2 run single to put the final margin of victory at 9-3, good guys.
Game 3 was a pitching masterpiece by both Pirate starter, Hunter Mitchell and Patriot ace, Kevin Simmons. While Simmons was pounding 92-96 mph fastballs, Mitchell simply bested him by throwing a complete game 2 hit shutout, in which Huntbo faced only 3 batters of the minimum and only 1 runner advanced to second base.
In a 0-0 game against the league leader in strikeouts, John Holland smoked a double down the right field line, and later scored on Cam Sperry’s RBI groundout to put CV up 1-0.
An inning later, the bucs added 2 more runs as James Cunningham and Ty Lynn drove in a run apiece. And the Pirates put the game away in the 6th when Trevor Kieboom’s double, Drew Lingo’s triple, and Kenny Ford’s single all contributed to 2 more runs to put the final margin at 5-0.
However, Hunter Mitchell was the story of the game in his complete game effort. Of his 21 outs, 12 came by way of ground ball outs to go with another 4 strikeouts.
Additionally, the Pirates only fanned one time against Simmons, who came into the game leading the league with 54 punchouts.
The 7th ranked Pirates are now sitting at 23-7 on the year and 7-2 and in first place in the ACCC Central Division. They will travel to Faulkner University on Monday for a 2:00 eastern double header.