Since the fall of 2009, the Pirates of Chattahoochee Valley and Cougars of Columbus State have squared off at CSU’s Ragsdale Field for a friendly Battle of the Bi-City between the two local powerhouses. Even though the Cougars are one of the top NCAA Division 2 programs in the country, the Pirates have held their own through the 6 year series, as the Pirates and Cougs entered this years double header with the series deadlocked at 4 wins apiece.
Freshman Landon Faulkner earned the start for CVCC and was terrific, tossing 4 1/3 innings, allowing only 2 hits and a single unearned run.
The Pirate offense jumped on top first in the second inning, when Ryan Hagan doubled to start the frame, and scored on Grayson Ivey’s RBI single to give Chatt Valley a 1-0 lead. In the top of the 4th, Tyler Lynn had a lead off double and seemed sure to score on Hagan’s single, but former Pirate, Matt Nettles, manning left field for CSU, threw Lynn out at the plate attempting to score, keeping the scoreboard at 1-0 Pirates.
CSU responded in the 5th, when another former Pirate, Dustin Averett, reached on a one out walk, stole second on a dirtball read, and later scored on a single to knot the game at 1 apiece.
Will Tillery relieved Faukner in the 5th and began the 6th and issued a lead off single and walk and was pulled in favor of Trevor Guthrie. Guthrie pulled a Houdini, escaping a bases loaded, no out jam, surrendering only two runs, both charged to Tillery. The run scoring single was a well placed ground ball through a drawn in infield to give the Cougs the 3-1 lead.
The Pirates had only one more shot, but went quietly in the 7th in a 3-1 loss.
Game 2 ended in a 9-3 loss for CVCC, however, the score was definitely deceiving, as the game was much closer than the board indicated. Christian Vann tossed the first 3 frames and was sharp early, however, with 2 on and 2 out and 2 strikes on the # 9 hitter, Vann surrendered a 3 run homer to put the Pirates in a 3-0 hole.
Still in the ballgame, Vann surrendered another homer, this time of the 2 run variety to increase the deficit to 5-0.
However, the Pirates fought back in the 5th, when Drew Lingo reached on a one out walk, followed by Tanner Davis’s single, and Nolan Greckel’s walk to load the bases. MJ Rookard was hit by a pitch to score Lingo and Ryan Hagan walked to score Davis to pull within 3 runs of the Cougars, still with the bases loaded and only one out. After Tyler Lynn reached on a fielders choice, Jake Maziar hammered a ball to deep right field that appeared to be a sure game tying homerun, however, the wind held the ball up and the CSU right fielder secured the ball on the warning track to keep the score at 5-2.
Austin Thomas entered in relief of Vann, and after tossing a clean 4th inning, and retiring the first 2 batters of the 5th inning, things got away, as CSU had 6 consecutive hitters reach base, en route to plating 4 runs and extending the lead to 9-2.
However, the Pirates continued to compete, as JT Thomas led off the 6th with a double, and later scored on Davis’s RBI groundout to pull the game within 6 runs at 9-3.
Jordan Lee took the mound in relief of Thomas and was spectacular, recording 4 outs, including one strikeout.
However, the 6 run deficit was too much to overcome from the senior laden CSU pitching staff, as the Pirates failed to earn a win against the Cougars for only the second time in the series’ history.