Pirates ready to go for sixth ACCC baseball title in eight years
PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - The Chattahoochee Valley Pirates are used to success. We’re talking a program that’s produced MLB All-Stars like Tim Hudson and Danny Cox, and produced JUCO World Series teams five times in the past seven seasons.
Now they’re out to make it six-of-eight in trips to Colorado, but that’s going to mean turning the next week into another chapter in the CV success story as the ACCC Baseball Championship gets underway in Ozark.
Of course, they already went into playoff mode last week in their final series showdown with Wallace-Dothan that saw the Pirates clinch the Southern Division title.
“Our whole roster, we were locked in every single pitch,” said head coach Hunter Vick. “I told them it’s like playoff baseball – you have to be in it every pitch. You can lose it on one pitch. I think it definitely helps going into a tournament playing a series like that.”
“The playoff mindset is going out and finding a way to win,” sophomore Rhett Fettner said. “You’re going to play in close game, you’re going to play in games that you’re ahead by a good bit, and you’ve got to find a way to win all of them because you can never count anybody out. Once you get the lead you’ve got to stay on top of it and never slow up. "
The Pirates go into the tournament on a roll, winners of 13 of their last 15 games and ranked No. 9 in the latest NJCAA national rankings.
“Obviously, we got hot lately,” said freshman first baseman Paul Hegeman. “We’re having a lot of fun playing the game we wanted to play. The bats have woken up and honestly, it was a matter of time. Our pitching staff has been carrying us all year, they’ve been doing a great job. It was only a matter of time for the bats to start to come around and I think we’ve finally hit our stride there. It’s been fun.”
They’re looking for the fun to continue starting on Friday, when they play their tournament opener. The Pirates will face the winner of Thursday’s play-in game between Coastal Alabama-South and Southern Union. First pitch on Friday is set for 8 pm ET at Eagle Stadium in Ozark.
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