Wednesday morning at roughly 6:00 am, the Chattahoochee Valley baseball team loaded the bus to head to Atlanta to catch an early morning flight to Denver, Colorado. With the team divided into three separate flights, the Dirty Pirates rendezvoused in the Denver airport right around lunch time.
With 2 1/2 days of getting acclimated to the new time zone and thin air, as well as squeezing in practice time, the Pirates did their best to enjoy the breath taking landscape and take in the sights of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
On tap Wednesday, was the drive over from Denver to Grand Junction. The trip was not without adventure, as the Pirate bus escpaed the Mile High City in just enough time to avoid a bombarding of tornadoes. Even so, in neighboring Aurora, the Southern Boys from Chattahoochee witnessed possibly the biggest hail storm of their lives, as closed to 24 inches accumulated outside of their lunch time restaurant. Once the storm pushed through, it was on to GJC, and the most beautiful four drive one could ever experience.
After driving through the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the club arrived to a hero’s welcome at the Grand Vista Hotel in GJC. With nothing but check in, daily planning, and dinner remaining on the docket, the Pirates called it a day.
Thursday was a day of World Series registration, checking out Supplizio Field, taking the team to JUCO Headquarters for souvenirs, media obligations with Coach Thomas and various team members, as well as a quality “Get Swole” session at the local gym. Additionally, the local media did a Meet the Pirates piece on CVCC at the gym. With those obligations met, the team then headed to the local indoor facility to get some hitting and throwing in, as well as some Colorado conditioning. The thin air was certainly affecting some of the players, and the only remedy was to condition and let the lungs and brain adjust.
With only one day remaining, before the kick off of the World Series, Friday was a day of practice, working out, more media obligations, and the grand finale was the JUCO Banquet with Former Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s, and St. Louis Cardinals manager, Tony LaRussa, headlining the event as the keynote speaker.
The end of the banquet signified the beginning of baseball, as the next night at 8:30 Phenix City time, the top ranked Pirates would square off in one of the most anticipated and exciting games of the Alpine Bank JUCO World Series, as they faced second ranked Delgado Community College under the lights.