By Chad Dixon
The Chattahoochee Valley (CVCC) Pirates (2-1) opened their 2018 season with a pair of wins over East Georgia College (1-2) in Swainsboro, Ga., last weekend. Head Coach Adam Thomas did not feel his team played up to the standard he expects from recent CVCC teams.
“I felt that they out-“CV’ed” us! Offensively, defensively and bullpen-wise, they just outplayed us and we were fortunate that we were able to pick up two wins,” Thomas said. “We will have to get back at it in practice this week and I take the responsibility and we will just have to do a better job.”
CVCC ace Sophomore Casey Cobb picked up where he left off in 2017 with a solid performance on the mound to start the season on Jan. 26. He picked up the win pitching four innings, striking out seven allowing zero runs on one hit. Sophomore center fielder Isaac Phillips led off the game with a walk and stole second. He later advanced to third and scored on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Jason Rooks. The Pirates’ offense pounded out ten runs in the fifth inning to give Cobb an 11-0 lead. Second baseman Rankin Worley’s grand slam was the exclamation point in the inning.
The Pirates’ bullpen surrendered nine runs in the seventh and eighth innings, but held on for a 14-9 win. Phillips was 2-for-4 with a pair of walks and four runs scored. Catcher Kale Ledford was 2-for-5 with two RBI. First baseman Jack Copley drove in three runs and walked twice. Woley was 3-for-5.
CVCC lost game two of the series 12-3 on January 27. The Pirates scored a pair in the second, but saw their lead vanish in the sixth inning. Shortstop Jay Meuse, designated hitter Fuzzy Furr and Woley each drove in a run. Woley was 2-for-4. Starting pitcher Cole Ganopulos pitched five innings, surrendered two runs on two hits and struck out seven. Chase Patrick picked up the loss. He surrendered two runs on three hits over 2/3rd an inning.
The Pirates jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning of game three. First baseman Jonathan Lee hit a two-out, two-run single to left to score a pair. Starting pitcher Jacob Menders picked up the win. He allowed one run on five hits through 4 2/3rd innings and struck out six. Joe Taylor recorded a four-out save. He struck out a pair and allowed two hits.
“The bright spot of the weekend was the starting pitching. Cobb was unbelievable – he looked like an All-America,” Thomas said. “On day one, he looked better than his last start as a freshman. “We had a 1.09 starting ERA and a sub-one WHIP in the first weekend. Menders was as good as advertised with his first pitch being at 92 mph. He had command of all four of his pitches.”
The Pirates’ season continues on Feb. 2 when they compete in the Kevin Miller Classic in Panama City, Fla. They will play Bevill State on Friday, Gordon State on Saturday and Andrew College on Sunday.