By Chad Dixon
The Chattahoochee Valley Community College (CVCC) Pirates’ (36-9, 21-3) starting rotation allowed only four earned runs in four games last weekend and took three games of four from Coastal Alabama-Monroeville. Casey Cobb (5-3), Cole Ganopulos (8-0), Chase Patrick (7-3) and Evan Baber (4-0) posted a combined 1.09 ERA in their starts.
Cobb started game one on April 12 in Monroeville, Ala., and allowed three earned runs in a 3-2 loss. He struck out seven and allowed three hits in six innings. Rankin Woley and Kale Ledford were 2-for-3 in the loss.
Ganopulos rebounded in game two to pitch a one-hitter against the Eagles. He leads the ACCC with eight wins and ERA (1.41). He threw 63 strikes out of 98 total pitches. He retired 10 of the first 11 batters only allowing a single in the first inning. He struck out nine in a 4-0 win.
Andrew Greckel drew a bases loaded walk in the second to score John Devine to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. Ledford homered to lead off the bottom of the third to extend the CVCC lead to two. Woley hit an RBI double in the seventh and Jason Rooks singled home Woley to advance the lead to four.
The series moved to CVCC on April 13. The Pirates swept both games (6-1, 10-5). Chase Patrick allowed only two hits through seven innings. He struck out eight and allowed one unearned run. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Jack Copley hit a two-out single and John Devine reached on an infield error. Shortstop Jay Meuse broke up the scoreless game in the fourth with an RBI single to left. Jack Lipson drew a bases loaded walk later in the inning to plate the second Pirates’ run.
Copley added an RBI groundout to shortstop in the bottom of the fifth to extend the lead to three. CVCC added three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Lipson hit an RBI double and Davis Schwartz hit an RBI triple in the inning. Schwartz was 2-for-4 in game three of the series.
Baber, Central alum, picked up the win in game four’s 10-5 victory. He pitched 5 2/3rd innings, allowed one earned run on five hits and struck out four. Rooks went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a double. Devine hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first.
CVCC entered the week ranked #7 in the country by the NJCAA and currently lead the ACCC South with a three-game lead. The Pirates will host Wallace-Selma at 1pm on April 19 and travel to Selma for a double header on Saturday. With only two conference series left, the magic number to clinch the ACCC South is eight for CVCC.