With a week before the ACCC Tournament and a sure fire conference championship that slipped away against LBW, the Pirates found themselves in flux, as depending on the outcome of the Faulkner State series, the Pirates could find themselves anywhere between a 2 seed or a 5 seed. However, in classic Rocky fashion, CVCC got to it’s feet and finished the fight in tough road split in Bay Minette.
Game 1 saw Christian Vann dial up another gem to give life to a struggling Pirate team, as he went 9 innings, allowing only a single earned run, scattering 10 hits, striking out 4 and walking 2.
While FSCC got on the board first in the third, scoring on an unearned run, CVCC responded in the top of the 4th, as Ryan Hagan doubled to lead off the inning, and Brandon Whiteford singled him home to tie the game.
With runs and hits at a premium on the day, Vann just kept inducing ground ball after ground ball, 19 in all, to keep the game knotted at one. The Sun Chiefs broke through in the 5th, with a 2 out single to take the temporary lead at 2-1.
With Vann in control, he kept the offense in the game, as they finally got something going in the 8th, as Tyler Lynn singled to start the frame, followed by a Kenny Ford sac bunt. Jake Maziar drove in Lynn for the tying run, and Grayson Ivey plated pinch runner, Tanner Davis for the 3-2 lead.
CVann shut the Chiefs down 1-2-3 in their half of the 8th and after nothing doing in the top of the 9th, the Pirates were 3 outs away from claiming the win. Unfortunately, some bad defense and bad luck cost them the lead and nearly the game, before Ford ended the inning on a groundout to keep the score tied.
After 2 quick outs in the 10th, the Pirate offense got things going with a pair of 2 out walks. Grayson Ivey drove in the go ahead run and after a JT Thomas single, pinch hitter Tim Kennedy drove in an insurance run to put the Pirates up 5-3.
Third baseman, Ryan Hagan, came in to close the game out, but not before things got a little hairy, as Hagan danced around a bases loaded mess to pick up the save and Pirate 5-3 victory in unconventional fashion.
Game 2 was a beautifully played pitchers duel, as CVCC’s Jordan Lee went the distance in a tough luck loss. Lee tossed 6 2/3 innings, allowing only 5 hits and 1 earned run, punching out 5 and walking none.
The Pirates got on the board first and looked to take control of the game in the 2nd inning, as Ryan Hagan and Will Campbell doubled to go up 1-0. A Trent Simpson single and Tim Kennedy sac fly pushed the lead to 2 and Lee took over.
With the Chiefs handcuffed, the Pirates were victims of their own mistakes, as 3 hit by pitches, 2 errors, and 2 wild pitches, over course of the 4th and 6th, gave FSCC 2 runs without the benefit of a single basehit.
With the score tied at 2-2, CVCC missed opportunities in the 5th and 7th to tack on runs. Unfortunately, Faulkner State did not miss theirs, as a leadoff single in the 7th followed by a sacrifice bunt, put the winning run at 2nd with one out. A pop up later looked like the Pirates would take the game into extra innings, but FSCC’s Hayden Lott hit the first pitch he saw up the middle for a 2 out, walk off single to salvage the split in a 3-2 win.
The split put the Pirates at 35-15 and 21-9 in league play with the season’s double header finale coming on Saturday that would determine the Pirates post-season fate.