This Pirate baseball tradition is in its 11th 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, 21 baseball players were recognized in various categories.
BIG STICK AWARD – Tyler Lynn
This award goes to the offensive leader of the fall season. This fall, Tyler led the team in nearly every offensive category, and was, without question, the offensive catalyst for the Pirates.
STAFF AWARD – Landon Faulkner
This award recognizes the top pitcher of the fall season. The hard throwing freshman, was literally the team leader in every major pitching category, leading the team in wins, ERA, Strikeouts, strikeout:walk ratio, and lowest opponents’ batting average.
GOLDEN GLOVE AWARD – Kenny Ford
This award honors the player that had the biggest impact defensively. Kenny was all over the place, making plays at both shortstop and second base, making a web gem play nearly everyday, while also leading the infielders with only 2 errors.
ACADEMIC AWARD – Evan Troutt
This award goes to the sophomore player possessing the team’s highest GPA. Evan has dominated the classroom in his 3 semesters of work, earning a 4.00 GPA thus far.
IRON PIRATE AWARD – Ryan Hagan
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. Hagan was an absolute beast this fall, as he dominated the off season workouts, with the next closest competitor falling nearly 100 points behind. Along with his certificate, Ryan earned an Iron Pirate t-shirt.
IRON PIRATE GAMES CHAMPS – Team Hagan
After a two week long battle, Team Hagan rallied back from third place entering the final day to pull off an improbable comback to take the 2014 Iron Pirate Games. Team Hagan consisted of: Captain Ryan Hagan, Grayson Ivey, Drew Lingo, Jake Maziar, Austin Thomas, and Hunter Webb
IRON PIRATE GAMES PRIME TIME PERFORMER – JT Thomas
This award is a player voted award that went to the athlete that exhibited the greatest individual effort during the Iron Pirate Games. Thomas literally put his team on his back and won every event in which he competed. His efforts were heroic and selfless in nature while exhibitting extraordinary leadership.
IRON PIRATE BIG TIME GAINERS
This award goes those individuals who made the largest gains in terms of strength in our powerlifts from Day to the end of the fall in a variety of lifts, the highest 1 rep max in each lift, as well as the overall Big Time Gainer combining all of the lifts. Along with their certificate, they each earned an Iron Pirate t-shirt.
Front Squat 1RM – Trevor Guthrie and Jake Maziar, 365 lbs
Front Squat Overall Gains – Jake Maziar, +105 lbs
Floor Press 1RM – Ryan Hagan, JT Thomas, Frank Wager, 315 lbs
Floor Press Overall Gains – Frank Wager, Hunter Webb, +60 lbs
Deadlift 1RM – Jake Maziar, 520 lbs
Deadlift Overall Gains – Trevor Guthrie, +135 lbs
Power Snatch 1RM – Brandon Frazier, 195 lbs
Power Snatch Overall Gains – Bryce Conley, + 70 lbs
Shoulder Press 1RM – Will Tillery, 190 lbs
Shoulder Press Overall Gains – Jon Kizzar, + 75 lbs
Power Clean 1RM – Brandon Frazier, Reid Michalek, Frank Wager, 285 lbs
Power Clean Overall Gains – Reid Michalek, + 70 lbs
Overall Big Time Gainer – Landon Faulkner, + 360 lbs in all lifts combined
NEWCOMER OF THE FALL AWARD – JT Thomas
This award honors the first year athlete (either freshman or transfer) that had the biggest impact on the team. True freshman, JT Thomas, took home this honor, as his defensive prowess behind the plate is simply game changing, as he is sure to be the next great catcher in Pirate history. Not to be understated, is that he was a force in the middle of the Pirate lineup, as well.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER AWARD – Will Tillery and Tim Kennedy
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 2014, they both had not quite the season that either was hoping for, as Kennedy had season ending wrist surgery and Tillery didn’t log many significant innings. However, how a summer and fall’s worth of work can change things. As for Tillery, he simply dominated, as he was used both as a starter and late inning reliever, proving himself capable of both roles, while Kennedy was simply a force offensively and defensively and on the base paths, sitting atop the team leaders in most of the significant statistical categories.
ALEX CABRAL HUSTLE AWARD – Ryan Hagan
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. Ryan Hagan 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 Hagan is going as hard as he can possibly go.
DO IT RIGHT AWARD – Nolan Greckel
This award goes to the athlete that does exactly what the award says – Does it Right. Greckel is the epitome of detailed oriented and performs every drill, exercise, workout, and task exactly as prescribed to his fullest capabilities.
TY McTIER COACHES AWARDS – Drew Dunagan, Drew Lingo, Jake Maziar
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 three young men mirror these qualities in a manner of which Ty McTier represented CVCC Baseball.
DIRTY PIRATE AWARD – Grayson Ivey
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. Grayson Ivey represents the Dirty Pirate mentality as well as anyone that has worn a Pirate uniform.