The 2012 Chattahoochee Valley baseball season came to an end last week as the Pirates were eliminated by rival Central Alabama in the ACCC tournament. The Pirates went 2-2 in the tournament and once again played some of the most exciting and talked about games in the event.
In the tourney opener, Wallace Dothan roared out to a 5-1 lead, but a relentless attack by the Pirate offense forced several errors and led to a 10-5 romp in favor of Chatt Valley. Micheal O’Neal returned to form, striking out ten in six and a third innings in relief, and David Levy and Cody Walker hammered out three hits each.
In game two, the Pirates would face the regular season champions from the ACCC Northern division, Wallace Hanceville. The Lions were every bit as tough as advertised, but the Pirates gave them all they could handle in a 2-1 pitchers duel. Clint Spratlin was masterful, going six innings and allowing no earned runs in the defeat.
The Pirates could thank dominant relief pitching, clutch hitting and a little bit of divine intervention for their third round win over LB Wallace. The Saints took a 5-1 lead over the Pirates going into the bottom of the eighth inning when the Pirates loaded the bases with two outs and the rain came in. Prior to the rain delay, the Saints had seized all of the momentum in the game, but when the contest resumes after two hours, the Pirates turned the tide.
Cody Walker worked a walk to score the first run of the comeback, and then Tim Massengale drove a two-out, full count fastball into right center to plate two more runs. In the bottom of the ninth, the Pirates were down to their last strike when Martin Castro drove in Matt Nettles to send the game into extra innings. Dustin Dunagan and Matt Vollenweider then combined for one of the most gutsy relief performances in CVCC baseball history, tossing a combined six and a third innings of scoreless relief. Vollenweider was particularly effective, striking out nine in four and a third innings. Their efforts set the stage for Patrick Olvaney to launch a massive, two run walk off homer in the bottom of the fourteenth inning to win the game.
Unfortunately, the Pirates heroics against LBW would doom them against Central Alabama. Chatt Valley was forced to use almost their entire pitching staff in the fourteen inning affair, and they had little left to use against nationally ranked Central Alabama in what would be the final game of their season. The Pirates committed three critical errors on top of getting roughed up for thirteen hits that led to a 9-4 defeat. Pirate hitters pounded out twelve hits of their own, but fell victim to bad luck hammering several potentially game changing balls directly to Trojan fielders. Tim Massengale, Patrick Olvaney, and Matt Nettles led the way for the Pirates, but the loss ended another successful season for the baseball team.
The Pirates finished the year with a 35-24 record and a second place finish in the ACCC Central Division, with a 5th place overall finish in the conference tourney.