The Pirates headed into the 2017 ACCC Tournament looking to become the first team to win 4 straight ACCC Titles and NJCAA World Series berths as the # 4 ranked team in the country and the # 1 seed from the ACCC’s Southern Division as they took on divisional foe, Alabama Southern for the 5th time in a month.
Pirate ace, Casey Cobb, was not his dominant self in 5 2/3 innings, but quite possibly threw the guttiest game of the season in his start for CVCC. The Eagles of ASCC came out swinging against Cobb, collecting 2 runs apiece in the 1st and 2nd innings on 6 hits. However, Cobb kept competing and fought his way into shutdown mode.
Down 2-0, the Pirates answered immediately, putting up 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning, as John Devine led off with a walk, Tre Kirlkin followed with a single, Jaylen Smith reached on an error and Jon Jon Foster put Chatt on the board with a sac fly. An RBI groundout by Carson Hughes knotted the score at 2-2 and AJ Willoughby smashed a double to give Cobb a 3-2 lead.
After AS responded to take the 4-3 lead, CV was right back at ’em with a 2 spot in the 2nd, as Isaac Phillips got things going with a lead off single. Devine and Kirklin added back to back RBI singles to reclaim the lead at 5-4.
Cobb put zeroes on the board over then next 3 innings, collecting 5 strikeouts to add to his league leading total, while the offense continued to have his back, methodically adding to the lead.
In the 3rd inning, Willoughby led off with a triple and scored on Kurt Ornowski’s groundout to push the lead to 6-4. Not done, the Pirates added 2 more in the 4th on a Kirklin double, a Smith walk and run scoring singles by Foster and Willoughby to extend the cushion to 8-4.
Still not done, a 3 spot in the 5th practically put the game away for CVCC, as Foster’s second sac fly and singles by Hughes and Ornowski put the Pirates comfortably ahead at 11-4.
However, Cobb fatigued in the 6th inning with 2 outs, and after allowing a run, JD Brown came in and promptly ended the threat with an emphatic punchout to keep the tally 11-5 good guys.
After the offense stalled in the 6th and 7th, Chatt Valley posted a walk off, mercy rule win in the 8th, as Ornowski singled, Jayson Cook drew a one out walk. After Ornowski scored on an error, Kirklin collected his 5th hit of the game with 2 out to push the 13th run across to score Cook to finish off the Eagles in a 13-5 win.
The Pirates ran their record to 47-10 advancing to the 3rd round (via the 1st round bye and the 2nd round win) of the winners bracket to face another familiar foe in Faulkner State.