After jumping out to a 11-1 start, the 3rd ranked Pirates headed down to Tallahassee for their annual battle with an always tough Eagle club for a Friday-Saturday-Sunday 3 game set.
Game 1 saw Chandler Newman take the mound for CVCC and had a beautiful 1st inning retiring the side with a clean inning after the offense gave him a 1-0 lead on an AJ Willoughby RBI groundout. The Pirates added 2 more in the second on a Brandon Hill double and a 2 run single by Isaac Phillips to take a 3-0 lead.
Unfortunately, control issues led to a 4 run 2nd inning for TCC without the benefit of a single base hit. Charles Crosby came on in relief to limit the damage and keep the game at 4-3 in favor of the home standing Eagles.
After swapping zeroes, TCC strung together 3 singles in the 4th to add a run and extend their lead to 5-3. Fortunately, the Chatt Valley offense re-awoke and scored 2 in the 6th to knot the game at 5, keyed by the game tying RBI ground out by Phillips.
With Coleman Barbee and Garrett Fowler holding the relief efforts down out of the pen, TCC scratched for the temporary go ahead run in the 6th with a questionable 2 out infield single. Fowler ended the inning and the Pirates went on the offensive and took the game under control with a 3 run 7th with consecutive hits by Willoughby, Carson Hughes, and Jon Jon Foster along with an RBI double by Jaylen Smith. The Pirates added an insurance run in the 8th to go ahead 9-6.
Tyler Elkins took over from there tossing the final 3 innings to preserve the series opening win.
Game 2 saw TCC take an early 1-0 lead in the 1st on a 2 out single, before the Chatt Valley offense roared back to tie it at 1 in the 2nd on Phillips 2 out RBI single and take the lead in the 3rd with a 3 spot, as Willoughby, Hughes, and Hill all went back to back to back with hits, with Nick Poskey adding a 2 out hit to give the Pirates a 4-1 lead.
Unfortunately, starter Sawyer Steele allowed 2 runs in the 3rd to let TCC back in the game, while JD Brown relieved him and game up a 3 spot to give TCC a 6-4 lead. With the offense responding in the top of the 5th with 2 runs to tie the game on singles by Jack Copley, Jaylen Smith and Nick Poskey, the Eagles smashed a 2 out, 2 strike, 2 run homer to reclaim the lead at 8-6 and added another run in the 6th to push the lead to 9-6.
The CV Bullpen finally stopped the bleeding, but it was too little, too late, as the Eagles took game 2 by the score of 9-6 to set up the rubber match on Sunday.
Game 3 finally saw a good start for the Pirate pitching staff, as Casey Cobb tossed 5 solid innings of 2 run baseball, before things unraveled in the 6th, as TCC plated 6 runs.
As was the story of the weekend, the Pirate offense gave the team an early lead scoring in the top of the 1st on Carson Hughes RBI single, while adding single runs in the 3rd and 4th, on an AJ Willoughby RBI groundout and a Jaylen Smith single, respectively, to give the Pirates a 3-2 lead.
Unfortunately, free passes were Chatt Valley’s undoing, as TCC used 4 free passes and only 2 hits to score in the 6 run 6th. Down 8-3 with plenty of game to go, the bullpen surrendered 3 more runs in the 7th that was ultimately the undoing. Although, the Pirates rallied for 3 in the 8th, it was too large of a hole to crawl out of, as TCC took the game and the series with an 11-6 win.
The series put the Pirates at 12-3 as they headed into a final 4 game set before the opened conference play.