The NCMC Pirates baseball team dropped 3 of 4 games against Mineral Area College this past Monday and Tuesday at Burleigh Grimes Field. The set started well for the Pirates as they collected a 5-3 win in the opener. The remaining games didn't have the same outcome as the Pirates dropped an 11-7 game to close the day on Monday and got swept on Tuesday by the scores of 7-4 and 12-2. The Pirates are now 20-27 overall and 11-17 in Region 16 play. Going into the final region series of the season which begins Thursday with a home doubleheader against MCC-Maple Woods, the Pirates are in 7th place in the league.
Blake Collister's 3 earned runs over 6.1 innings pitched in the opener was good enough for the win. Lucas Hampton came in to record the final 2 outs for his first save of the year. "We threw the ball very well in the first game. The wind was blowing out and our ballpark plays very small. To only allow 3 runs to a potent Mineral Area offense was outstanding," commented Coach Ryan Suttenfield.
The pitching and defense was not enough to hold the Cardinals at bay the remainder of the series. Starters Wade Phillips, Kylan Easley, and Trae Brownell took the losses in the final 3 games giving up a combined 18 runs over 12.1 innings pitched. The Pirates made a total of 3 errors in the series.
Offensively, freshman Connor Quick continued his hot hitting. He batted .538 in the series with 3 runs scored and 4 RBI's. On the year, Connor now carries a .467 average with 38 runs and 36 RBI's. Sophomore Dennis Pogue and freshman Deric Killday had solid games as well. Pogue hit .455 with 2 runs scored while Killday put together a .385 average with 2 runs, 3 RBI's, and 1 HR. Quinsly Balentien also added 2 HR's. The Pirates struck out 41 times in the 4 games.
"We competed well on the first day against Mineral Area. They are a very solid club. On the second day, we just didn't have the focus and effort needed to compete against a top team in our league," remarked Coach Hillerman.
The final series of the year with MCC-Maple Woods will determine the Pirate's seeding for the sub-region. The Pirates could finish as high as the #5 seed or as low as the #8 seed depending on those outcomes and others around the league.
The Pirate's final home games will be Thursday, April 27th. They will recognize their sophomore athletes prior to the 1:00pm first pitch. Those ceremonies will commence at approximately 12:15pm. Come out and support your Pirates as they push toward the postseason.