The young pitching staff of the 2015 edition of the Pirates continued to impress, as CVCC returned the trip to Barnesville, Georgia to square off in another double header against the Highlanders. After a tough 4-3 late inning loss in game one, the Pirates unleashed the offense in game 2 with an 11-3 win in the nightcap. However, the familiar theme was the continued outstanding pitching by the young bucks.
Austin Thomas got the start in Game 1 and was nothing short of phenomenal in his 4 innings of work. Surrendering only 2 hits, one of which was a solo homer, Thomas retired 6 of the 12 outs via the strikeout, while finishing with a flourish in his final inning, by punching out the side.
With Gordon striking first on the afore mentioned solo homer, the Pirate offense rallied in the 4th and 5th innings to take a 3-1 lead, as Drew Lingo delivered an RBI single to tie the game in the fourth, and Kenny Ford stole home to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead.
In the fifth, Lingo drew a bases loaded walk to extend the lead to 3-1. Unfortunately, the lead was short lived, as JD Brown ran into some trouble with 2 walks in the inning. With 2 out and 2 on, the Highlanders tied it on a bloop single into shallow left field.
GSC took the lead for good in the 6th, on an RBI single. However, Drew Dunagan worked out of a one out, bases loaded mess to keep the score at 4-3. The Pirates had an opportunity in the top of 7, but a rocket ground ball by Ford that looked sure to get through, was snagged for the final out and a 4-3 loss.
In the nightcap, the offense went to work, and the young guns kept dealing. Jordan “JLee” Lee got the start and went 3 strong innings, punching out 3, allowing one earned run on 1 hit.
The offense got going in the second, as Jake Maziar and Trent Simpson scored after drawing back to back walks. In the 3rd, Nolan Greckel keyed a three run frame with an RBI single, coupled with a JT Thomas sac fly, to push the lead to 5-2.
Right back at them in the 4th, Simpson and Ryan Hagan delivered back to back singles, and after a Grayson Ivey sac bunt, AJ Willoughby delivered a hugh 2 run single to extend the lead to 7-2. The Pirates added another in the 5th on Maziar’s RBI groundout to score Greckel.
Meanwhile, Will Tillery and Bryce Conley tossed shutout innings in the 4th and 5th. Chase Burks handled the 6th, and gave up a run after surrendering a leadoff walk.
Up 8-3, Chatt Valley added 3 more insurance runs in the 7th on a Greckel sac fly, a JT Thomas RBI single, to extend the lead to 11-3.
Nik Verbeke closed things out in the 7th, ending it with an emphatic punchout.