Undefeated through three games with its offense rolling and back to full staff with their pitching, the Pirates faced an upstart Wallace State club that clawed its way back through the loser’s bracket to the championship game. With plenty of emotion and energy, the Lions looked to be in prime upset mode of the Pirates.
However, the emotion and energy of Wallace was quickly stymied, as ACCC pitching hero, Chase Burks, quieted the Lion bats with a three up, three down top of the first inning.
Immediately, the offense gave Burks all of the runs he would need, as after a leadoff walk to Nolan Greckel, the quadruplet of Ford, Lynn, Maziar and Hagan all reached base with three consecutive basehits and a walk. After a flyout, Grayson Ivey and JT Thomas jumped right back on the hit train to score the 4th and 5th runs of the inning to give the Pirates an early 5-0 lead.
Although the Lions had their chances to score, Burks bared down when it mattered, as any potential threat ended with groundout after groundout.
After an 11 man bat around in the first, the Pirates sent 8 men to the dish in the 3rd, with Thomas and Hunter Webb starting things off for the Pirates. Kenny Ford and Tyler Lynn drove in 3 runs between them and Jake “The Kid” Maziar hammered a fastball for a monstrous homerun over the right field wall for a solo job to put CVCC up 9-0.
At this point, it was a matter of simply playing the game: throwing strikes and playing defense. However, the offense would have none of that, as it continued to add to its lead to give Wallace State no hope of a dramatic comeback.
After the 2 big innings, the Pirates scored methodically, adding 1 and 2 runs here and there. In the 4th, a 2 out single by Nolan Greckel plated the 10th run, while in the 5th, Brandon Whiteford hit his 3rd homerun of the tournament, a 2 run shot, to push the lead to 12-0.
Grayson Ivey’s 2 run double in the 7th ran the score to 14-0. With Burks working on a complete game shutout, the Lions finally got to him in the 8th, as they scratched for 2 runs, as Wallace strung together 3 hits with Burksey’s only walk of the game, to pull within 14-3.
However, Chatt Valley went right back to it in their half of the 8th, scoring their 15th run on a pair of Lion errors. With Burks pitching on pure guts at this point, it was simply a matter of finishing the game and recording the final three outs, which proved to be more difficult than anticipated with a 15-2 lead.
A leadoff single, was followed by out 1 – a pop up to Webb in centerfield. The next 2 batters reached base, the first on an error and the second on a single to close the gap to 15-3. Another infield error gave the Lions more life. However, that life was quickly over after a lineout to Kenny Ford for out 2, with him doubling off the runner at 2nd for the game ender and conference championship clincher.
Mayhem ensued on the mound in true baseball fashion, as CVCC became the first repeat champions since the Shelton State three-peat of 2007-2009. With the win, the Pirates finished the ACCC Tournament with a 41-15 record and outscored its opponents in the tournament 51-12.
Tyler Lynn earned Most Valuable Player honors for the Tournament and he joined Chase Burks, Jake Maziar, Kenny Ford, and Ryan Hagan on the All Tournament Team.
The Pirates next stop would be Grand Junction, Colorado as the Southeastern district representative and holding a # 9 national ranking. Their opponent: Yavapai College, the top offensive junior college in the country.