The NCMC Pirate's baseball team completed their season over the weekend dropping two games to St. Louis Community College on the road in the best of three sub-region. On Saturday, the Pirates couldn't get the offense going and fell 2-0. Sunday was a different story with the same outcome, this time with the Pirates losing 15-13 in a slugfest. With the losses, the Pirates finished the season with a 22-31 mark.
The Pirates couldn't push a single run across on Saturday despite an outstanding individual offensive day for freshman Quinsly Balentien. He went 3-4 and was a homerun shy of the cycle. He also added 2 stolen bases. On the mound, sophomore Kylan Easley turned in a solid start despite not having his best stuff. He and freshman Blake Collister combined to hold down the very potent offensive attack of the Archers. "We got very competitive pitching from Easley and Collister. They kept us in the game. Our offense just couldn't come through when we needed it despite hitting some balls really well," commented Coach Hillerman.
Sunday, the Pirates struck early plating 7 runs in the first inning. However, the lead would not hold as freshman Trae Brownell struggled with his command. "It was frustrating to see Trae struggle. He has been solid for us all year and is a very dedicated worker. He will certainly have better days in his future," stated Coach Suttenfield. The Pirates used four relievers the rest of the way but couldn't keep St. Louis down enough to win.
Offensively, the Pirates got multiple solid efforts Sunday. Freshman Enrique Madera went 3-6 with 1 run and 1 RBI. Balentien knocked 2 homeruns and drove in 4 runs. Connor Quick went 2-5 with 2 runs. Sophomore Brendly Martina homered, going 2-4 with 2 runs and 2 RBIs. "We had some excellent offensive approaches. It was nice to see us bounce back after a tough day Saturday," remarked Coach Hudlow.
"Close, playoff games usually come down to execution. We got out executed when it mattered most and you have to tip your hat to St. Louis. They were just a shade better than us in each game," added Suttenfield.
Following the games, Coach Hillerman let the players know some end of season team awards. Top Hitter went to freshman Connor Quick who ended the year with a .458 average which put him in a tie for 5th nationally in the category. Defensive Player of the Year went to freshman Jared Fry who was an ironman behind the dish for the Pirates. Earning Freshman of the Year was Enrique Madera who stared offensively and defensively in his first season as a Pirate. The award for Top Starting Pitcher went to sophomore Kylan Easley while freshman Lucas Hampton was the Top Relief Pitcher. Sophomore Derek Hussey earned the Hustle Award and was a team leader all season. "The coaching staff really wanted to recognize some of our lead contributors. We made some good strides this season and look to continue that upward trajectory for our program," concluded Hillerman.