After playing 7 solid innings on Friday, to only fall apart in the final two frames in a season opening loss, Chatt Valley responded in a big way in Saturday’s double header taking both games in convincing fashion, 8-1 and 10-0, behind strong pitching and an explosive offense.
Game 1 saw freshman Landon Faulkner earn his first collegiate start in a Pirate uniform, and he was nothing short of spectacular, as he struck out the side in the first, and punched out 6 of the first 9 batters he faced, taking a perfect game into the fourth inning.
The offense got things going first, taking a 2-0 lead in the second, when Jake Maziar smoked a 2 out double off in the right center gap. After Grayson Ivey flew out to right for the second out, the bottom of the Pirate lineup got a little two out magic working, as Ryan Hagan, Kenny Ford, and Hunter Webb strung together 3 straight singles to get CV on the board.
Meanwhile, Faulkner remained dominant, however, the perfect game and no hit bit ended with the leadoff hitter in the fourth, as he singled to get things going. The Bobcats were able to manage one more hit and a sac fly to close the gap to 2-1. However, that was the closest that the Bobcats would get, as Lando did not allow another hit through 5 2/3 innings of work.
The Pirate offensive attack responded in the bottom half of the 4th, with Hagan’s one out solo homer. Kenny Ford followed with a double, while Hunter Webb walked. After Ford and Webb double stole, Nolan Greckel came up clutch with a 2 run single to score Ford and Webb. Tyler Lynn later delivered an RBI single to put the Pirates up comfortably at 6-1.
Faulkner continued his dominance of the Bobcat hitters, and the offense went right back to work in the 5th, as Maziar led of the 5th with a single, and Hagan reached on a hit by pitch. A wild pitch and a walk to Ford, led to a bases loaded walk to Hunter Webb, and an RBI ground out by Greckel to bring the tally to 8-1.
Bryce Conley came on in the 7th to close things out 1-2-3 to finish off the 8-1 win.
Game 2 saw another freshman earn his first collegiate outing, as big lefty, Christian “Sauce” Vann toed the rubber for the Pirates.
In similar fashion to Faulkner, Sauce punched out the first 2 batters of the game, and 4 of the first 9 outs, en route to tossing four complete shutout innings, allowing only 5 hits, 5 K’s, and zero walks.
The Pirate offense picked up where it left off, as back to back to back singles by Ford, Brandon Whiteford, and Lynn to start the first, led to a 3 run inning. Right back at them in the second, CVCC sent 9 men to the plate as they put a 5 spot on the board to give Vann all the cushion he would need. Leading the charge in the second, were four consecutive base hits, as Will Campbell, Hagan, Webb, and Ford got things going. After a Whitey walk, Lynn delivered a sac fly, and Evan Troutt drove in the 5th run with an RBI groundout to push the lead to 8-0.
With Vann on cruise control, the Pirates added another run in the 4th, as Troutt’s sacrifice fly scored Ford, who had reached on a leadoff walk.
With the intent to get some young arms some work, that idea was nixed, as Campbell absolutely destroyed a one out fastball for a monstrous homer in the 5th to end the game via the 10 run rule.
The 2-1 Pirates are off during the week and next head down to Panama City, Florida for the Kevin Miller Classic on the campus of Gulf Coast State College. Chattahoochee Valley will face Andrew College on Friday, St. John’s River on Saturday, and the host team, Gulf Coast on Sunday.