After a woodshedding of top ranked and JUCO powerhouse, Iowa Western, the momentum had swung mightily into the dugout of the Pirates, as they headed into a final four elimination game matchup with Walters State Community College, with the winner advancing to the 3 team Round Robin Championship Series.
Big Will Tillery earned his first start of the season after spending most of the year on the shelf with tendonitis. The hard throwing Tillery surrendered 2 runs on 4 hits in the first inning, to find CV down 2-0. After nothing doing in the top half of the 1st for the Pirates, the Senators scratched for 2 more runs in the bottom of the 2nd, all with 2 out, as the heart of the Walters State order did the damage all day long.
Down 2-0 after 1 and 1/2 innings, the Pirate offense came to life in the second, sending 8 men to the plate en route to a 4 run inning. Jake Maziar got things started with a lead off single. After Ryan Hagan reached on an error and Brandon Whiteford walked, Will Campbell smashed a bases clearing triple to pull the Pirates ahead 3-2, still with no one out and a runner at 3rd. With one out, Hunter Webb singled to drive in Willie C to put CVCC ahead 4-2, before the Pirate rally was halted with a caught stealing and 2 strikeouts. Nonetheless, the Pirates led 4-2 temporarily, before WSCC tied it in their half of the afore mentioned second.
Tillery settled in momentarily as he retired the Senators 1-2-3 in the 3rd. The Pirates made some noise in their half of the 3rd, but came away empty. With no panic, the Chatt Valley offense came right back, as Campbell and Grayson Ivey both doubled to start the 4th. Ivey’s double allowed CVCC to retake the lead at 5-4 and the Pirates looked primed to make the margin larger.
Unfortunately, that was all they would get. As the Pirates headed into the bottom of the 4th, after getting 2 outs with only one on in a tie game, they dynamic duo of Osuna and Grosnover struck again, as they went back to back jacks to put WS up 7-5.
Again, the offense responded in their half of the 5th, as the Pirates were primed for another big inning, as they loaded the bases with none out as Tyler Lynn walked, Jake Maziar singled, and Ryan Hagan walked. With Big Mo back on the good guys side, Brandon Whiteford lifted a fly ball to left center field that easily scored Lynn for the 6th run.
However, Maziar tagged as well, and was thrown out at third attempting to advance for the second out. Unfortunately the Pirates went from the penthouse with bases juiced and none out to the outhouse with one on and 2 out as the rally was ended with only 1 run. However, the Pirates climbed back within a run to make it 7-6.
The theme of the game for CVCC was 2 out damage, as the Pirates were one more out away in the bottom of the 5th from keeping Walters off of the board. With 2 out and 2 on, the Senator # 2 hitter blasted a mammoth 3 run job over the center field wall to push the lead to 10-6. The lead, although more than the Pirates would have liked, was not insurmountable, as the scoring was a see-saw affair all day long.
However, the offense of the Pirates stalled, and was unable to respond the rest of the way, and in only a 4 run game, the final dagger to the heart of Chatt Valley came in the form of a four run inning for the Senators to put the game away in the bottom of the 6th. Up 14-6, Chatt Valley went 1-2-3 in the 7th to end the game in a mercy rule loss.
The loss ended the Pirates season and extraordinary run through JUCO as the town favorites, once again. The loss left the Pirates with a 43-17 final record and a third place finish in the JUCO World Series. Additionally, CVCC was the recipient of the esteemed Homa Thomas Sportsmanship Trophy, while 3B Ryan Hagan was named to the JUCO All World Series Team.