The Pirates lost the front end of the road doubleheader at St. Louis Community College on Sunday 3-2. The game was a hard fought pitcher's duel between NCMC freshman Blake Collister and St. Louis sophomore Ben Stephens. Each player twirled a complete game with Collister coming out on the short end against the NCAA D-1 signee Stephens. Stephens is set to continue his career at Eastern Illinois University next fall. "Both pitchers were really in command of the game. Blake has thrown the ball very well for us to open the year and we believe he still has room for improvement," commented assistant coach Suttenfield.
The Pirate's offense was only able to muster 4 total hits, 2 of which were from sophomore Brendley Martina. Martina also scored the two Pirate runs.
"This was a defensive game but we had our chance at the end. We can't ask for more than runners at 2nd and 3rd with our three-hole hitter at the plate with the game on the line," remarked Coach Hillerman of the late game drama. Connor Quick struck out in that final at-bat as Stephens secured the victory for St. Louis.
The Pirates went into the 8th inning with a slim 2-1 lead Sunday against the Archers in game 2. However, the bullpen was not able to hold in that frame as the Archers plated 3 runs to take the 4-2 lead, which ended up being the final outcome.
"We had our back of the bullpen arms in the game in the position to close it out. We just didn't get it done in this one," commented Coach Hillerman.
Offense for the Pirates was again sparse due to solid Archer's pitching. 3 total hits were collected in the contest, none of which went for extra bases. "All series St. Louis pounded the strike zone with multiple pitches and we just weren't up to the task as hitters. We have to improve," remarked Coach Hudlow.
The Pirates are now 5-7 on the year and 4-4 in Region 16 play. They are back at it Tuesday when they play Highland Community College at Missouri Western State University.