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Baseball

 

Chatt Valley wins ACCC Championship in epic comeback

Chatt Valley wins ACCC Championship in epic comeback

OZARK—Russell Olsey gave the LBW Saints all he had. After throwing 142 pitches, Olsey ran out of gas and was removed from the game.

That's when Chattahoochee Valley took advantage of their new found life. Going to the bottom of the ninth, the Pirates trailed by five runs. But the Pirates managed to score six runs and win the 2019 ACCC Championship 9-8.

Olsey managed to strike out the first Pirate he faced in the ninth, but then Austin Zeitler connected for a solo home run over Eagle Stadium's left field wall. When Olsey hit the next batter, Austin Zeitler, he was removed from the game.

Enter Brandon Moye for the Saints. Moye gave up a single to JoJo Odachowski and hit Carson Allison to load the bases. The next batter was lead off hitter Davis Schwartz , who turned out to be the key batter of the game. Schwartz connected for a long "no doubt" home run over left field. His grand slam tied the game at 8-8.

But the Pirates weren' done. In came Cody Herring for the Saints who promptly walked Andrew Greckel. When Greckel took off for second base, the throw ended up in center field and he advanced to third to put the winning run on third base with only one out.

LBW coach Steve Helms then intentionally walked the next two batters to load the bases. He pulled his infielders and his outfielders in to cut off the run at the plate.

But with two outs, Tyler Daughtry beat the defense. He slapped a ball toward first base and it bounced over the first baseman and into right field. That scored Greckel from third base with the winning run.

"This means the world to me, mostly for my son," said CVCC first year head coach Hunter Vick. "He didn't get to go with us last year to Colorado. Now I get to take him. It's really personal for me."

Vick said he inherited a very good program from Adam Thomas, who is now the athletic director at Chattahoochee Valley.

"Adam built a very good program here," he said. "I am just fortunate enough to come in and continue building on what he started."

Over in the other dugout, LBW coach Steve Helms had nothing but praise for a team that came up just a little short.

"I know the scoreboard says we lost, but in my mind every one of these guys are champions," he said. "They gave me everything they had and they battled to the end."

As for Olsey, his starting pitcher, Helms said "I couldn't ask for more. This kid left his heart and soul out on that field today. He's never going to play baseball again. He's going to Auburn and he told me 'Coach throw me until I can't throw anymore. '

" He gave us just what we needed if we were to have any chance because our pitching staff was exhausted."

LBW led most of the game. With the score tied 2-2 in the fourth, the Saints scored four runs to go up 6-2. The runs came on two-run home by Jesse Hall, his third of the tournament, an RBI single from Parker Griffin, and Jarius Colley was hit by a pitch with the bases load

Both teams traded runs in the sixth, but LBW added what seemed like an insurance run in the seventh. Griffin hit an infield sing that scored Reid Whitaker, putting the Saints up by five runs.

CVCC placed four players on the All-Tournament team, including MVP Davis Schwartz. The other three were Chase Patrick, Kale Ledford, and Evan Barber.

For LBW, Bryson Gandy, Cody Herring and Jesse Hall made the team.

From Wallace Dothan, Justin Farmer and Golston Gillespie were named, while Joseph Kiel and Daniel Buice made the team from Lawson State.

ACCC Baseball Runner-Up - LB Wallace Saints

Tournament MVP - Davis Schwartz - Chattahoochee Valley