After moving into the winners’ bracket with their opening round win over Wallace-Dothan, the Pirates faced a monumental task in handling the speed and pressure offense of Alabama Southern. The Eagles were one of only 4 teams to put a loss on Chattahoochee Valley, as they took a 4-3 decision back in February in a closely contested game.
Coach Daniel Head’s squad came out swinging against CVCC starter, Dylan Lee, as they jumped on top 1-0 in the first with a 2 out single. Later in the third, ASCC plated 2 more runs, both unearned, with yet another 2 out run scoring basehit to push the lead to 3-0.
Meanwhile, the Pirate offense was simply stymied by the Eagle left hander, managing only 2 base runners through the first 4 frames. However, the Pirates finally broke through in the 5th, when Cam Sperry led off with a single and stole second. JD Perry put Chatt Valley on the board with a little 2 out magic of his own, to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Dylan Lee was solid through the first 3 innings, but spectacular over the next 4, facing only one Eagle over the minimum, as that batter reached on an error. While Lee was in shut down mode, the offense took control in the 6th inning.
John Holland reached on a hit by pitch to start the inning, stole second base and was followed by a Jared Martin single. With runners at the corners, Trevor Kieboom delivered an RBI single to plate Holland to give the Pirates runners on 1st and 2nd with still none out in a 3-2 game. Cam Sperry executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runners and Grayson Ivey took care of the rest to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead with a clutch 2 run single.
Lee continued to stymie the Eagle offense, but in the 7th, the defense let him down, in what should have been a quick inning, turned into a 3 run frame. With 2 on and 2 out, Lee surrendered a 2 strike, 3 run homer to the ASCC shortstop, to give the Eagles a 6-4 lead.
Colt Ramsey came on to minimize the damage, but surrendered a run of his own in the 9th to put the Pirates in what looked a 7-4 insurmountable hole.
However, after Tyler Lynn grounded out on the first pitch of the inning, the Pirates did not make another out. Super-clutch, JD Perry drew a walk and stole second base. Kenny Ford drove in Perry, advanced on a wild pitch and stole third. Lead off hitter, Jeff Ronpirin walked to put runners at the corners with only one out in a 7-5 game. After John Holland walked to load the bases, Alabama Southern made a pitching change, and catcher Jared Martin smoked the first pitch he saw in the right center field gap to clear the bases, as Holland slid in safely, just ahead of the relay throw to end a wild come from behind walk off win.
Mahem ensued at home plate and then at second base as the Pirates celebrated in true purist baseball fashion. With the 8-7 emotional win and thunderstorms wreaking havoc on the tourney bracket, the Pirates were forced to go back to the hotel for several hours and return later that night to face former Southern Division rival, Faulkner State, for the right to play in the ACCC Championship game.
The win moved the top-ranked Pirates 44-9 on the season.