2016 FALL RECAP: Pirates Have Good Showing at Chipola, but Tally only a Tie and a Loss

After a solid fall opener against Lawson State, the Pirates headed to the panhandle of Florida to take on Northwest Florida State and Gulf Coast State in Chipola College’s Fall Classic.

In the opener, the Pirates faced NWFS and jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, as AJ Willoughby started things with a 2 out single and scored on Carson Hughes 2 out double off of the left field wall.

Meanwhile the pitching staff picked up where it left off, as starter Casey Cobb was 92-94 mph and completely dominant in his 2 innings of work, allowing 2 singles and striking out 3.

The offense added to their lead in the 3rd inning, as Zach Cable led off with a double and advanced to 3rd on Isaac Phillips ground out.  MJ Rookard plated Cable on a sac fly to right to push the lead to 2-0.

The pitching staff continue to shut down the vaunted Raider offense, as Pierce Smith came on in the 3rd and 4th and put up two more zeroes, allowing only one hit but it was quickly erased, as Cable threw the runner attempting to steal.  Sawyer Steele tossed the 5th and induced a 6U-3 double play to end a NWFS scoring threat.

Northwest scratched for a run in the 6th, as CVCC used 3 pitchers in the inning.  Lefty Carson Hicks recorded the 1st 2 outs after a lead off single.  Flame throwing Chandler Newman came in and promptly hit the first batter he faced.  On came closer in training, Garrett Fowler, who walked in the Raiders first run before stymieing the rally.

The Pirates responded in the top of the 7th with a timely insurance run, as with 2 outs, Jaylen Smith doubled down the left field line and scored on Jack Copley’s RBI single to extend the lead to 3-1.

Unfortunately, things did not go well in the 7th for Fowler, as the first 3 batters reached on a single and a walk and a single.  After a passed ball brought the score within 1 run, Fowler induced a 4-6-3 double play to put the Pirates within 1 out of the win.  However, the Raiders scratched with a 2 out single just out of the reach of 1B Carson Hughes to tie the score at 3 apiece to end the game in a tie.

Game 2 was a quality pitchers duel for most of the contest until sloppy defense and bad base running by Chatt Valley turned a close game into a 6-1 win for the Commodores of Gulf Coast.

With Stew Tyler tossing the first 2 innings, he surrendered 2 unearned runs in the 2nd on an outfield error and an infield error.  Parker Boyle pitched 2 quality innings with a solo homer being the only damage done.

Down 3-0, the Pirates responded on a Jay Meuse sacrifice fly to score Charles Crosby, who walked to lead off the inning.

With the score 3-1 ‘Dores, Boyle and JD Brown kept them right there to give the offense a chance to catch up after 5 1/2 innings.

Unfortunately, the 6th inning is when things fell apart defensively for CVCC, as Coleman Barbee allowed zero hits, but surrendered 3 walks.  In between 2 groundouts and an infield pop up, a score of passed balls, gave GCS 2 more runs to extend their lead to 5-1.

The Pirates were not without their opportunities, though, as Kurt Ornowski led of the 5th with a double but was later caught trying to steal 3rd base.  Again, in the 6th, CV had runners on 2nd and 3rd but left them stranded to put a halt to a Pirate comeback.

Tyler Elkins came in to toss the 7th, but yet another outfield error, cost the Pirates another unearned run, as Gulf Coast pushed the lead to 6-1.  Again, with a chance to rally in the bottom half, CVCC left 2 more runners stranded to end the game.

The Pirates, sitting at 2-1-1, would travel to Faulkner University the next weekend to face Lawson State once more and familiar foe, Central Alabama.