The Chattahoochee Valley baseball team held its annual Black & Blue dinner on Monday evening, December 9th. This Pirate baseball tradition is in its 10th year, in which the winners of the Black & Blue Series eat steak, baked potatoes and baked beans, while the losing team enjoys hot dogs, potato chips, and baked beans, all of which is catered by Burt’s Butcher Shoppe in Columbus, Georgia.
Along with the fellowship and eating, the Black & Blue Dinner also serves as the Pirates’ fall awards banquet. This year, 16 baseball players were recognized in various categories.
BIG STICK AWARD – Drew Dunagan
This award goes to the offensive leader of the fall season. This fall, Drew led the team with a .400 batting average and a .517 on base percentage, and was second on the team with 18 hits. Additionally, Dunagan scored 11 runs and stole 7 bases. Additionally, Dunagan was named the Black and Blue Series MVP.
STAFF AWARD – Dalton Rentz
This award recognizes the top pitcher of the fall season. The Big Donkey was among the leaders on the staff in every meaningful statistical category. On the fall, Rentz posted a 4-0 record with a 1.41 ERA with 38 K’s and only 13 walks in 32 innings pitched. Additionally, he surrendered a miniscule .162 opponent’s batting average.
GOLDEN GLOVE AWARD – James Cunningham
This award honors the player that had the biggest impact defensively. Cunny was all over the place roaming in the grass in centerfield this fall, making a circus catch nearly everyday, while also leading the outfield in assists with 4. Cunningham was able to be a game changer with his defensive play.
ACADEMIC AWARD – Jeff Ronpirin
This award goes to the sophomore player possessing the team’s highest GPA. Jeff has dominated the classroom in his 3 semesters of work, earning a 3.91 GPA thus far.
IRON PIRATE AWARD – Trevor Guthrie
This award recognizes the semester long individual challenge in the team’s daily CrossFit workouts. Points are earned based upon each players finish in each workout. Trev was an absolute beast this fall, as he earned 456 points during the off season workouts, with the next closest competitor falling 19 points behind. Along with his certificate, Guthrie earned an Iron Pirate t-shirt and a pass allowing him to miss any workouts in the spring up to 3 times.
IRON PIRATE GAMES CHAMPS – Team Troutt
After a week long battle, Team Troutt came back from fourth place entering the final day to pull off an improbable comback to take the 2013 Iron Pirate Games in the final event of the day. Team Troutt consisted of: Captain Evan Troutt, John Holland, Reid Michalek, Dylan Lee, and James Cunningham.
IRON PIRATE GAMES PRIME TIME PERFORMER – Grayson Ivey
This award was player voted award that went to the athlete that exhibited the greatest individual effort during last week’s Iron Pirate Games. Ivey literally put his team on his back and nearly carried them to victory. His efforts were heroic and selfless in nature while exhibitting extraordinary leadership.
NEWCOMER OF THE FALL AWARD – John Holland
This award honors the first year athlete (either freshman or transfer) that had the biggest impact on the team. After transferring from Florida State, Holland solidified the middle infield at shortstop and the top of the order, while posting a .324 batting average and leading the team in hits with 24 to complement his 5 doubles, 13 RBI’s and 12 stolen bases.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER AWARD – Dylan Lee and Cam Sperry
This award recognizes a second or third year athlete that has made the biggest improvement since arriving to CVCC. As both of these young men came in as true freshmen in 2013, they both had not quite the season that either was hoping for. However, how a summer and fall’s worth of work can change things. As for Lee, he simply dominated, leading the team in ERA with a 0.88 mark, going 2-0 with 22 K’s and 7 walks in 30 innings while Sperry was simply a force in the middle of the order, hitting .302 with 4 doubles, a triple and a homer along with a team leading 20 RBI’s.
ALEX CABRAL HUSTLE AWARD – Evan Troutt
Named in honor of former Pirate, Alex Cabral, this award honors the athlete that displays the most and consistent hustle and work ethic on and off the field, as well as in the weight room. Evan Troutt exemplifies this award with his “never take a day off, never take a play off” mentality. This is evident by his play on both the practice field and during CrossFit workouts. Like Cabby, there is never any question as to whether Troutt is going as hard as he can possibly go.
DO IT RIGHT AWARD – Trevor Kieboom
This award goes to the athlete that does exactly what the award says – Does it Right. Kieboom is the epitome of detailed oriented and performs every drill, exercise, and task exactly as prescribed to his fullest capabilities.
TY McTIER COACHES AWARDS – Jeff Ronpirin, Dylan Lee, Mitch Shelby, and Payne Kosobucki
This award was created for, and named in honor of, former Pirate, Ty McTier. This award recognizes the consumate team player, leadership by example, work ethic, winning attitude, unselfishness, good citizenship, and character development over the course of their careers. These four young men mirror these qualities in a manner of which Ty McTier represented CVCC Baseball.
DIRTY PIRATE AWARD – Jared Martin
This award was the original award created by Coach Thomas back in 2002 for the fall season’s most outstanding player. The phrase Dirty Pirate probably does not do the award justice, as it certainly has a seemingly negative conotation. However, the phrase “Dirty Pirate” comes with a badge of honor, as at the turn of the 21st century, as the CVCC Baseball began making its run toward ACCC prominence, opposing teams referred to CVCC as the “Dirty Pirates”, recognizing the tougness, grit, and exceptional work ethic that the Pirate baseball team displayed during its contests. Hence, the Dirty Pirate Award was born. The award has developed and evolved through the years, though, as the present day award recipient must display the following qualities and characteristics: toughness, work ethic, academics, hustle, good defender, one of best hitters or pitchers on team, leadership, high character, the ability and willingness to things the right way, and coachability. In essance, this award is the consumate award for which a CVCC Baseball Player may be honored. It is all encompassing of all of the above mentioned awards. Jared Martin represents the Dirty Pirate mentality as well as anyone that has worn a Pirate uniform.