Coming off their 3rd consecutive ACCC Championship and JUCO World Series appearance, the Pirates opened their Fall 2016 season in Birmingham against the home standing Cougars of Lawson State.
Dominant pitching was the name of the game for the Pirates on the day, as they used 14 pitchers in 14 innings to combine for 3 total hits allowed and delivering 23 punchouts on the day.
In game 1, the Pirates got going early and never looked back, as Brandon Hill drew a one out walk and scored on AJ Willoughby’s RBI double for an early 1-0 lead. While the pitching staff did their thing, CV added 4 more runs in the 3rd inning on a Jayson Cook single and Tre Kirklin walk to begin the inning. Willoughby added his second of 4 hits on the day to plate another run, while Carson Hughes added an RBI groundout. Freshman John Devine contributed a 2 run single to push the lead to 5-0 Pirates.
However, the Cougs stormed back on a plethora of walks to plate 4 runs on zero hits in the 4th to close the gap to 5-4. However, the vaunted staff of the Pirates allowed nothing else from Lawson the rest of the way.
Clinging to a 1 run lead, Willoughby delivered again, with another RBI double to extend the lead and final to 6-4.
Game 2 saw CV open the scoring in the top of the 3rd on an Austin Zeitler sacrifice fly. After plating a run in the 3rd to extend the lead to 2-0, the Pirates opened the game up with a 3 run 6th inning, as Jack Copley blasted an RBI triple and was followed up by a mammoth 2 run homer by Charles Crosby to close out the scoring for CV with 5 runs.
Lawson managed only 1 run (unearned) on a passed ball in the 6th inning. Otherwise the pitching staff tossed a 2 hitter, while striking out 13 Cougars.
The opening fall series put the Pirates off to a solid start at 2-0 as their next test would be at the Chipola College classic as they took on perennial panhandle powers, Northwest Florida State and Gulf Coast 2 weeks later.