Pirates swept over break, extend losing streak to 4


Senior Will Austin helped the Pirates in this past weekend, but could not push them into the win column – Saturday, March 19, 2016 (Armstrong Communictions)

By Ethan Pringle, Staff Writer

Armstrong State University’s fourth inning rally was not enough to hold off the Augusta University Jaguars in the Peach Belt Conference series finale Sunday, March 20. The Pirates gave up two runs in the eighth and ninth innings to drop the game, 8-5.  

The Pirates (11-14, 4-11) fell twice Sunday to complete a disappointing midseason sweep at the hands of the conference rival Augusta University.

Armstrong junior Ryan Patterson belted a solo homerun to right field in the bottom of the first to bring the game back even. He finished the day going 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

After a solo homerun gave the Jaguars the lead in the third, the Pirates fought back in the fourth, putting together a small-ball rally for four runs capped off by a two-run double down the line by senior Jerad Curry.

Sophomore Will Browning started the fourth inning rally off with a single up the middle. The Pirates then put the pressure on the Jaguars as freshman Stetson Smith and senior Cody Sherlin each reached base on bunts, setting the table for senior Will Austin to plate two after a single through the left side.

Nick Andress pitched 5 and 1/3 strong innings, giving up one earned run and striking out three before being relieved in the sixth. However, Augusta would get two back in sixth to cut the Pirate lead down to one before scoring four in the final two innings to seal the sweep.

Armstrong bats went quiet after the fourth inning, racking up only two more hits the rest of the day. Unfortunately, low offensive output seemed the theme of the series for the Pirates.

Sunday’s loss came after the Pirates were blanked Saturday. They racked up just three hits on the day and fell short 4-0. Junior Spencer Harvey accounted for two of those hits, including a double.

Senior pitcher Corey Kafka took a hard fought loss in the series opener giving up 10 hits over seven innings while just giving up four runs.

The middle game, played early Sunday at Pirate Field became a turning point and the Pirate bats started to come to life. Although falling 10-1 at the hands of the Jaguars, Armstrong showed some of the pop needed to spur them onward during the rest of the following homestead by racking up seven hits. Patterson led the game with two hits, both doubles with one walk and one RBI.

While a disappointing result for the Pirates, this team has shown the capability to turn a losing streak around and hang up just as many wins in a row over the course of the season.

The Pirates return to action Friday, March 25 with a three-game series against North Georgia with a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. at Pirate Field.