After a season full of significances, milestones, and rebirth of “Dirty Pirate” Baseball, the Chattahoochee Valley baseball team finished its season last week after being eliminated from the ACCC Tournament.
The Pirates opened up with Wallace State-Dothan and made quick work of the Governors in a 9-1 mercy rule victory. Starter Dalton Rentz went the distance, tossing 7 innings in a shortened complete game effort. He allowed only 3 hits, 1 run, struck out 6, but walked an uncharacteristic 7 Dothan hitters. However, as he has done all year, Rentz competed all day long and made pitches when he needed them, relying on his curveball and slider to stymie any Governor threats.
The Pirates got on the board first in the second inning, when Ty Abbott hit the first pitch he saw over the right field wall for a 2-0 lead. After Rentz surrendered his only run in the 3rd, Sam Knight delivered a 2 out RBI single to put the Pirates up 3-1, while Big Time Timmy Jim Massengle delivered an RBI single of his own in the 5th.
With a 4-1 lead, the Pirates put the game away in the 6th, by plating 3 runs on Luke Ewing’s 2 run double and Massengale’s second RBI single of the day.
Up 7-1, CVCC scored 2 more in the 7th to end the game on the tournament’s 8 runs after 7 innings mercy rule, when David Levy drove in Cody Walker for the 9th and decisive run. The win moved the Pirates to 42-10 on the year, with the 42 wins tying the school record set back in 2010.
The Pirates were then slated to play the marquee game on Sunday night against # 1 seed, Shelton State. For 5 2/3 innings the Pirates did not dissappoint. Jeff Ronpirin led the game off with a single and BTTJM smoked a double in the right center gap to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. After Ben Taylor went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first, David Levy led off with a double, stole third and then gave CVCC a 2-0 lead on Ronpirin’s sac fly.
Taylor was as dominant as a pitcher could be, as he went through 5 2/3 innings of nearly perfect baseball, allowing only 2 singles, while punching out 10 Bucs and tossing one of the games of his life. After a pair of 2 out walks, Shelton tied the game on a single.
What unfolded from there was nearly unfathomable, as over the next inning and a third, the Pirates surrendered 6 runs on a single hit, while allowing 7 walks. A sure Pirate win turned into a Buccaneer runaway that quickly, as Chatt Valley was not able to respond offensively. Once the night was over, the scoreline looked like this: CVCC – 2 runs on 10 hits and 0 errors; Shelton State – 8 runs on only 4 hits while committing 1 error.
With the Pirates facing elimination the next day against familiar foe, LB Wallace, the game started exactly as the previous game ended, as the Pirates walked the Saints to the tune of loading the bases in the bottom of the first on 12 straight pitches. Hunter Mitchell came on and righted the ship allowing only 2 earned runs through 7-plus innings of work.
Down 3-0 after 3 innings, the Pirates finally got on the board with Jared Martin led off with a single and eventually scored on Ty Abbott’s sac fly-turned E8 cut the lead to 3-1.
Mitchell held the fort scattering 10 hits but holding the Saints scoreless through 6 innings while CVCC clawed their way back into the game. In the 5th, Nick Jones had a run scoring single to cut the deficit to 3-2 and the Pirates finally caught up in the 7th when Luke Ewing led off with a double and Massengale tied the game with another RBI single.
Unfortunately, things fell apart in the 7th and 8th as LBW scored 3 insurance runs to down the Pirates and send them packing in a 6-3 loss.
The season ended with the Pirates posting a 42-12 record, tying the school record for wins, as well as posting the highest regular season win total in the league in 2013. CVCC also spent 2 weeks ranked # 1 in the NJCAA poll and the entire season ranked in the top 25.