Coming into the Bishop State series week, the Pirates had back to back off days. However, one of those turned into a season changing event, as a tarp pull gone wrong damaged Howard Lake Field beyond repair for the remaining of the season, as well as losing center fielder Brandon Hill to injury for the rest of the 2017 campaign.
After the NJCAA released its weekly rankings, the Pirates had climbed to # 4 in America and took their show on the road to Mobile, Alabama to start the home and home series against the Wildcats of Bishop State. Game 1 was a nailbiter, as Pirate ace, took his normal spot in game 1 of the conference rotation.
Cobb was strong as usual, going the distance in the 7 inning affair, allowing only 2 runs, both unearned, surrendering only 2 hits, while striking out 10.
However, the Wildcats seized the early lead on a 2 out passed ball, before CVCC responded immediately in the 2nd, plating 3 runs as Jon Jon Foster, AJ Willoughby, and MJ Rookard all singled to start the frame. An Isaac Phillips RBI groundout, Tre Kirklin single and Johnny Devine’s RBI single gave Cobb a 3-1 lead he would not relinquish.
However, the pesky Wildcats scored a run via a catchers interference call that would have ended the inning to pull within 3-2.
Chatt Valley put an insurance run on the board in the 5th on a Rookard RBI basehit to push the lead and final score to 4-2 in a game 1 win.
Game 2 was a shellacking from the outset, as the Pirates put up multiple runs in each of the first 4 innings. With Bishop’s starter having command issues, the Pirates took advantage of 5 free passes and a sac fly from Willoughby and a run scoring single from Foster to take the early 3-0 lead.
With Cole Ganopulos toeing the rubber for the Pirates, he simply tossed 4 innings of shutout baseball, scattering 4 hits and striking out 5, as the offense did the heavy lifting for him.
Back on the board in the 2nd, CV popped for 4 runs, keyed by a Fuzzy Furr 2 run double, while they added 2 more in the 3rd as Jaylen Smith smacked a solo homer deep over the left field wall, while Furr added his 2nd RBI double of the day.
Up 9-0, Chatt scored 5 more in the 4th to put the mercy rule into effect, as Kurt Ornowski highlighted the inning with a bases clearing double to extend the lead to 14-0.
With the big lead headed into the 5th, the Pirates turned to hard throwing Zach Cable, who after surrendering a leadoff single, promptly struck out the side to finish the road sweep of the homestanding Wildcats.
Saturday saw the Pirates in a new home for the remainder of the 2017 season, as they brought the Ghost Uniforms at Columbus, Georgia’s Golden Park.
Charles Crosby started in his usual 3 spot, but was uncharacteristically wild, allowing 5 walks through 3+ innings. Nonetheless, he and reliever Sawyer Steele limited the damage to just 3 runs through the 6th.
Once again, CVCC jumped out on top early as John Devine started the first with a leadoff triple, while Kirklin singled and gave way to back to back doubles by Jaylen Smith and Fuzzy Furr to give the good guys an early 3-0 lead.
In the second, the Pirates continued to add, as Devine plated another run and Smith smashed his league leading 9th homer for a 6-0 lead. After Bishop closed within 6-2, the offense immediately responded with a Devine 2 run homer to highlight another 3 run inning to go ahead 9-2.
JD Brown came on in the 7th close things out. With 2 out and 1 on, BSCC managed back to back singles to score another run, but Brown delivered the final out via a strikeout to close out another series win in the 9-4 victory.
Game 4 turned from falling behind, scratching back into the game, to blow out mercy rule win for Chatt Valley.
Carson Hicks was solid in his conference start. Tossing 4+ innings of 3 run baseball, Hicks was also plagued by the base on balls, but maintained damage control to hold Bishop State within striking distance.
Down 2-0 in the 3rd, CVCC immediately responded with 3 runs in their frame, as Jayson Cook, Kurt Ornowski, Fuzzy Furr and Carson Hughes all singled in the inning to give Chatt a 3-2 lead. In the 4th AJ Willoughby smashed a solo homer to lead off the frame to extend the lead to 4-2 temporarily.
After pulling Hicks in the 5th, a trio of pitchers came on to record three outs, but not before the Cats knotted the game at 4 with 3 hits and a wild pitch.
From that point, it was a barrage of offense from CVCC to plate 10 runs in the 5th inning to end the game via mercy rule. Ornowski and Smith started the inning with a pair of singles and Furr absolutely destroyed a baseball for a 3 run homer. Not done yet, Hughes single, and Foster walked leading to Willoughby’s RBI single and MJ Rookards 2 run single. Smith added 2 more runs with a double and Carson Hughes walked the Pirates off with a 2 out single completing the comeback win, series sweep in the 14-4 victory.
The 4th ranked Pirates now sit at 32-8 on the year and 17-3 in conference play. CVCC will travel to Central Alabama on Monday, April 10th for a 5:00 eastern game.