After rolling off six wins in a row and beginning to resemble the team that was expected out of Chattahoochee Valley, the Pirates headed south for a single game at Thomas University and a 3 game set down in Tallahassee, Florida. What began promising, turned into a ho hum weekend split for the Pirates.
Game 1 on Thursday went exactly the way it should, as the Pirates took control early and gave Coach Thomas the opportunity to empty the bench on both the offensive and pitching end of things, as every position player saw action, with 5 pitchers seeing work on the mound.
Garrett Deloney picked up his second win of the season in 3 innings of work, in a 2 hit, no run, six strikeout effort. Meanwhile the offense put up 10 runs in the first 2 innings, as they racked up 18 hits on the day. Will Campbell set the tone in a 4 hit effort that included a double and his league leading, 5th homer.
JT Thomas made his return to the Pirate lineup after a broken thumb sidelined him for a month and promptly had a 1-3 with an RBI day to begin his season.
Caleb Lynn also enjoyed a big day, collecting 3 hits, with 2 being doubles, and 2 RBI’s. MJ Rookard continued his power surge with another homer in the 6th inning, while Frank Wager launched a NASA rocket ship into space for his first homer of the season. Pitcher, Christian Vann even got in on the hit parade with a single.
On the mound, Alex Graulich, Brandon Sattenfield, Stew Tyler and Jacob Ozley all saw action, with Tyler and Oz continuing to improve and become go to guys. Once the smoke cleared, the Pirates secured a fun 16-4 victory heading into Tallahassee.
Game 1 in Tallahassee was a classic pitchers duel, with Chase Burks making his second start of the season. He was magnificent through 6 complete innings before his ankle began flaring up again. Allowing only 3 hits and 1 unearned run, Burks added 4 more punchouts to his total, in picking up a no decision.
After TCC went ahead 1-0 in the second, the Pirate offense responded immediately, with Rookard’s 2 out RBI double to tie the game at 1 apiece. They game would stay there for the next 4 frames, as the chess match continued.
Unfortunately, the Pirate bullpen was the first to break, as in the top of the 7th, the Eagles of TCC scored 2 runs on only 1 hit. However, it was a leadoff hit by pitch, 2 walks and a botched sure double play that was the Pirates undoing.
Down 3-1, the Pirates continued to fight having 2 on with only 1 out in the 9th, but a double play quickly ended the threat and the game in a 3-1 loss.
Game 2 was pure domination by the Pirates, at least after the first inning, anyway. After going ahead 1-0 in the top of the first, starter Jordan Lee allowed 3 runs in the bottom half on 3 hits, a walk and a hit by pitch, to put CV in all to unwelcomed, but familiar territory. However, JLee went into shutdown mode and completely handcuffed TCC the rest of the way, allowing only 2 hits, no runs, and punching out 5 before giving way to the bullpen in the 6th.
Down 3-1 in a stalemate of a game headed into the 6th, the offense finally managed to get something going, as back to back walks to Will Campbell and Brandon Hill, led to a base hit bunt by Jaylen Smith to load the bases. Trent Simpson came through with a 2 run single to tie the game at 3. With runners at 1st and 2nd, Frank Wager dropped another basehit bunt to load the bases. A fielder’s choice by Jayson Cook, a single by Nolan Greckel and a Tim Kennedy sac fly, led to a 5 run inning putting the Pirates on top 6-3.
Jacob Ozley put on a show out of the bullpen, dominating 3 consecutive left handers, which included 2 strikeouts, before giving way to Cody Harrison, who added 3 K’s of his own in an inning of shutout baseball.
After CV added an insurance run in the 7th to go up 7-3, it was “Treeeeeeennnttt Tiiiiiiiiime” on the mound, as he shut the Eagle offense down to preserve the Pirate win.
Heading into the rubber match, Pirate ace, Chase Adkins was unavailable due to the flu, as CVCC matched up against TCC ace, Skyler Arias. Arias was dominant from the start as he struck out the first 4 batters he faced.
On the other end of things, Christian Vann was solid early, but the Eagles capitalized on 5 too many 2 out, 2 strike base hits that resulted in 4 runs that should have never happened.
Down 5-1, after a Tim Kennedy RBI single, Logan Haner stabilized the game for the next 3 innings, until TCC popped for 2 more runs, once again on a strike homer. That essentially put the game away for the Eagles at 7-1.
However, one of the biggest positives of the entire weekend was the continued development of Stewart Tyler, who added 2 more strikeouts to his total, while firing in 90 mph fastballs from the left side.
After the 2-2 weekend, the Pirates sit at 8-6-1 as they head to Tifton, GA on Friday for a 2:00 pm eastern game against ABAC.