In a tale of two days which were nearly 180 degrees of each other, the Pirates took on the Chargers of Georgia Highlands College in Friday/Saturday Home and Home two game series, splitting the set, losing on Friday 8-5 and rebounding with a resounding win, 8-0 on Saturday, as the 2014 ACCC Championship Team was recognized with the beautiful championship rings being presented.
On Friday, the Pirates played in miserable, frigid temperatures in which the game was played in snow flurries in North Georgia at the new Perfect Game Complex. With Landon Faulkner on the hill against the Chargers Ace, the Pirate offense started fast and furious, putting up four runs in the first 2 innings.
Nolan Greckel led the game off with a single and scored on Ryan Hagan’s sacrifice fly in the first. Brandon Whiteford walked to start the second, followed by Grayon Ivey’s double and an Evan Troutt walk to load the bases with none out. JT Thomas reached on a fielder’s choice to score a run, while Greckel walked to drive in another, and Kenny Ford’s sac fly gave Faulkner a comfortable 4-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Faulkner was in complete control, as he took a no hitter into the 5th inning, when the leadoff hitter reached on an infield hit. He was quickly erased on a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.
Unfortunately, the 6th was the Pirates undoing, as GHC sent 14 hitters to the plate en route to an 8 run inning. It was pure chaos that could and should have been avoided that would have allowed CVCC to take home another win. A bunt single, walk set the stage. After a strikeout, things looked okay for the Pirates, but a botched pickoff to 2nd and missed line drive in left, and error at shortstop, with an RBI single and another walk tied the game at 4 apiece with the bases loaded and still only one out.
Tyler Welch came on and did his part, striking the next guy out and inducing a ground ball that turned into another error, that would have ended the inning at 4-4. But the wheels fell completely off, as GHC put up 7 unearned runs in the inning.
The Pirates had opportunities, as Tyler Lynn and Ford reached to start the 7th. Whiteford later walked to load the bases, but the threat ended on a pop up. The 8th was similar, as Troutt walked, Lynn singled, and Ford singled to drive in Troutt. Will Campbell launched what looked like the game tying 3 run homerun, but the snow knocked it down, as the Charger left fielder caught his drive leaping into the wall.
Austin Thomas was perfect in relief to keep the game close, but Chatt Valley could not muster the comeback, dropping game 1, 8-5.
Saturday was a memorable day for the CVCC Family, as the 2014 club was recognized with their ACCC/World Series Ring Presentation before the game. The 2015 team did their part in respecting The Lake and the program with an 8-0 beat down of the Chargers.
Meanwhile, the offense got off to a white hot start, as 8 consecutive Pirates reached base in the first, with 7 hits and one walk, as they put up a 4 spot early.
While Vann shut them down, the Pirates kept hitting rockets all over the yard. The began falling again in the 5th, as Brandon Whiteford’s rbi single highlighted his 3 hit day.
Chase Burks relieved Vann in the 6th and tossed 3 beautiful innings of 2 hit baseball, striking out 4 in the process.
Up 5-0, CVCC unloaded for 3 more runs in the 8th, as Whitey led off with his 3rd hit of the day, Grayson Ivey doubled to knock him in, JT Thomas singled to drive in Ivey, and Timmy Kennedy finished things up, driving in the 8th and final run.
Drew Dunagan made his pitching debut in the 9th in dominating fashion, absolutely mowing down the Chargers in 1-2-3 order, with 2 punchouts to finish off an 8-0 win.
The Pirates are now 8-5 and are scheduled to travel to Andrew College on Wednesday, however, stay posted as the weather is not favorable.