After a heart stopping win and a heart breaking defeat, the Pirates faced powerful Spartanburg Methodist College out of South Carolina in an elimination game, as both teams sat 1-1 in the JUCO World Series. In a game that looked so promising from the outset, quickly made a turn for the worst, as the Pioneers opened up a big can of good ole fashioned butt whipping on the Pirates, en route to a 18-3 mercy rule shortened game.
In a game that saw the Pirates as the visiting team for the first time in the post-season, Chatt Valley jumped out quickly to a 2-0 lead, thanks to a 2 run monstrous blast off of the bat of Trevor Kieboom to dead center field. With momentum, the crowd, and emotion on the Pirates’ side, things looked to be in a good shape for the good guys.
In the bottom half of the frame, starter Hunter Mitchell gave up a lead off single, but he was eradicated on a ground ball double play to John Holland, while Huntbo kept the score at 2-0 Pirates.
The Pirates had something cooking in the second as well, as Grayson Ivey reached on a leadoff walk. However, a failed sacrifice bunt, and 2 ground balls later, the Pirates were out of the scoring opportunity.
The bottom of the second is when things went horribly wrong for Chatt Valley. When with 2 out and 2 on, the Pirates made an uncharacteristic quintuplet of errors that led to a Pioneer 9 run inning
Down 9-2, the Pirates turned to the bullpen and Kevin Moore to help keep the SMC offense in check. Unfortunately a trio of Pirate pitchers allowed 8 more runs in the third to push the lead to an insurmountable 17-2.
At this point, it became all about making sure the entire Pirate roster had the opportunity to participate in the World Series with game action, as Coach Thomas emptied the bench and bullpen, as every player on the roster got into the game.
The final bright spot was when Jake Maziar, who hadn’t played in over a month, due to a hamstring injury, pinch hit and hammered the first and only pitch he saw over the right centerfield wall for a home run. Unfortunately, it was not a 15 run homer, but only a solo shot, that brought the score to 17-3.
After Spartanburg added a final run to push the tally to 18-3, the Pirates went quietly in the fifth inning to end the game and the season.
The loss put the Pirates final record at 48-11, with the win total demolishing the school record for wins. Additionally, the Pirates finished 6th in the JUCO World Series and 4th in Perfect Game’s final poll.