For the first time in three years, the Chattahoochee Valley Pirates were able to host a fall scrimmage against outside competition, due to the ongoing stadium remodeling. Familiar Georgia JUCO foe, Gordon State came to town for a Friday afternoon September double header. The Pirate pitching staff was phenomenal all day, as the Pirates allowed only 1 run on 6 hits in 14 innings, in 2-0 and 2-1 wins.
In game 1, Landon Faulkner got the start and was in complete control during his 4 innings of work, allowing only 2 hits and striking out 4 Highlanders in keeping Gordon off of the board.
The Pirate offense struck early, as Jake Maziar absolutely hammered a homerun to right center field to lead off the bottom of the 2nd inning to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. With Faulkner dealing, the offense scratched for another run in the 4th, when Ryan Hagan drew a one out walk, stole second base, and scored on Maziar’s RBI single to stretch the lead to 2-0.
Although the Pirates had a few more opportunities to score in the 5th and 6th, they were unable to capitalize and extend the lead. Gordon, however, had zero scoring opportunities, as Jordan Lee shut things down in the 7th with a 6-4-3 double play and a strikeout to preserve the 2-0 win.
Game 2 was much of the same, a lot of good pitching and scarce offense. In what looked like a Pirate offensive onslaught in the bottom of the first, the Pirates loaded the bases with one out, but only came away with run, as Kenny Ford scored on Evan Troutt’s RBI groundout.
Up 1-0, Nik Verbeke went to work as Chatt Valley’s starter, tossing 3 shutout innings, striking out 5 Highlanders, while punching out the side in the second inning. Both staff’s settled in and put zeroes on the board for a bit, although CVCC squandered a handful of scoring opportunities. Lefty JD Brown tossed a 1-2-3 4th, but surrendered a game tying solo homer to lead off the 5th to knot the game at 1 apiece.
Jon Kizzar righted the ship and sat Gordon down in order in the 6th to set up a dramatic finish from the bat of Frank Wager, as he led off the bottom half of the 6th with a mammoth homerun to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead going into the top of the 7th.