Pirate's baseball split on Monday night against MCC-Maple Woods at Missouri Western State University to conclude their regular season with a 22-29 overall record and a Region 16 mark of 13-19. The Pirates placed 6th out of 9 Region 16 teams heading into the postseason. "We have been playing some solid baseball at times down the stretch. We believe that at the 6-seed we are ready to make some noise in the postseason," commented Coach Hillerman. The Pirate's opponent in the upcoming best of 3 sub-region is yet to be determined due to make-up games yet to be played.
In the opening game Monday night, the Pirate's fought back from an early 6-0 hole to take the lead on a couple of occasions. The Pirate's plated 3 runs in the 3rd inning to half the deficit and 4 more in the 4th to take a 7-6 lead. "Our guys showed a lot of heart coming back from the early hole. We could have easily given up on the game but the leaders on our team stepped up and didn't allow that to happen," remarked Coach Hudlow.
The game came down to the final inning with the score tied 7-7. The Pirates were able to manufacture a run after an Enrique Madera double to lead off the inning. "That was an excellent display of situational hitting. Connor Quick advanced the runner to third with a groundout and Quinsley Balentien provided the sacrifice fly to give us the lead," detailed Coach Suttenfield. However, the Pirates were unable to make that lead stick. After a leadoff single for Maple Woods, three hole hitter Levi McLaughlin hit a 2-run walk-off homerun to stun the Pirates. "That is a hard way to lose a game. I was proud of how our players bounced back in the second game," added Coach Hillerman.
Game two went much more smoothly for the Pirates. Trae Brownell provided a solid start on the mound for the win and the offense backed his efforts. "We hit up and down our lineup. We were very hungry for the win in the second game," Coach Hudlow stated.
It was a big offensive day for freshman Connor Quick. He finished with 4 hits, including 2 homeruns, and 8 RBI's. Sophomore Derek Hussey also provided 6 hits from the leadoff spot, scoring 4 runs. Madera knocked a homerun and drove in 4 on the day.