In a highly anticipated 2017 campaign for the Chattahoochee Valley Baseball Team, the Pirates rebounded from an opening day loss to sweep Sunday’s double header to earn the series win against the East Georgia Bobcats.
In Game 1, Casey Cobb opened the season for the Pirates and was outstanding as he pitched into the 7th, allowing only 5 hits, with 5 strikeouts and only surrendering 2 hard contacts on the day. Although he allowed 4 runs, only 1 was of the earned run variety.
The Pirate offense off rhythm all day, as the Bobcat starter pitched 8 strong. After EGC scored an unearned run in the first, they added 2 more unearned in the 3rd on a critical error on a bunt play.
Down 3-0, the Pirates answered in the bottom half with a Kurt Ornowski RBI groundout to cut the deficit to 3-1. The score stayed there until East added a run in the 7th to close the book on Cobb’s day, as the Pirates fell behind 4-1.
Pierce Smith came in relief and was magnificent for 2 2/3 innings. Scattering 4 hits and 1 run, Smith struck out 3 and kept the Bobcats in check. Unfortunately, the Pirate offense was stagnant and could not rally dropping the season opener 5-1.
On Sunday, the Pirates came out with some fire and jumped on EGC early and often. With Chandler Newman making his Pirate debut, he fired 95 mph fastballs by the Bobcats with a 1-2-3 strike out the side first. After Ornowski reached on a 1 out error, Carson Hughes smashed a double down the right field line to put the Pirates up 1-0 and they never looked back.
With Newman cruising, the offense added 2 more in the 3rd with some 2 out magic with singles by AJ Willoughby, Carson Hughes, Johnny Devine, and Jaylen Smith to go up 3-1.
Newman’s day ended prematurely as he developed a blister on his throwing hand. However, it was an outstanding opening effort in his 3 2/3 innings. Allowing 1 run on 2 hits, while striking out 4.
CVCC went right back to work in the 4th and 5th, as Hughes added a sac fly to extend the lead to 4-1, while the Pirates opened it up in the 5th with a 5 spot to essentially put the game away. An RBI double by MJ Rookard and a run scoring single by Ornowski highlighted the inning.
Parker Boyle took over in relief and was dominant out of the pen, going the rest of the way, surrendering a single run on 3 hits adding his first 2 punchouts of his college career to pick up the win.
Up 9-2 in the 6th, Chatt Valley ended the game via the mercy rule, as back to back walks to Rookard and Jayson Cook was followed by a 2 run triple by Isaac Phillips. Carson Hughes picked up his 3rd hit and 3rd RBI of the day as he smashed a single to center to end the game in a 12-2 Pirate win.
Game 2 saw the 3rd Pirate pitcher make his collegiate debut, as Sawyer Steele earned the start for CV and went 4+ strong, surrendering 4 runs, with only 2 being earned.
The offense started fast once again, as the put a 3 spot on the board in the first, all with 2 out. Willoughby started things with a double, with Hughes continuing his hot hitting with an RBI double and Jon Jon Foster doubled and later scored on a passed ball to go up 3-0.
Right back at them in the 2nd, the Pirates added 2 more on back to back singles by Nick Poskey and Cook. Poskey scored on a wild pitch and Phillips RBI ground out plated Cookie to give Steele all of the runs he would need at 5-0.
However, the Bobcats fought back, when the wind affected Steele’s command due to dry hands and a slick baseball, as they had a 3 run 3rd and added 1 more in the 5th to end Steele’s day. A combo of Charles Crosby, Cole Ganopulos and Tyler Elkins finished the 5th to hold the 5-4 lead.
Chatt Valley added an important insurance run in the 5th on Zach Cable’s pinch hit RBI groundout to extend the lead to 6-4. Elkins was lights out for the final 6 outs, giving the Bobcats no chance for a rally and complete the game and series win for the Pirates.
The Pirates sit at 2-1 to start the season and will head to Panama City Beach next Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the Gulf Coast State Invitational.