OZARK, Ala. — Chattahoochee Valley used a pair of big innings to beat Alabama Southern 11-5 on Thursday afternoon to win the Alabama Community College Conference (Region 22) championship.
The victory gives the No. 1-ranked Pirates (47-9) a berth in the JUCO world series in Grand Junction, Colorado. The world series starts May 24.
It will be CVCC's sixth trip to the world series and the first since 1996 (1977-84-86-94-96).
CVCC had fallen behind 3-2 after Alabama Southern scored a run in the top of the sixth inning.
But the deficit didn't last long as Tyler Lynn hit a leadoff homer in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game.
The Pirates would go on to score three more times for a 6-3 lead. Trevor Kieboom and Cam Sperry drove in the final two runs with singles.
Alabama Southern (36-16-1) closed the gap to one with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth.
The Pirates put the game away with five runs in the bottom of the eighth to build the lead back to six, 11-5.
CVCC scored all five without getting a hit. Three runs scored on wild pitches, one scored on an error and another scored on a sacrifice fly.
Chris Brown, who got the final out of the eighth, retired Alabama Southern in the ninth to earn the save.
Dalton Rentz pitched 7 2-3 innings and gave five runs (four earned) and eight hits. He struck out five.
Kieboom finished with three hits, the only Pirate with multiple hits.
Grayson Ivey hit a homer in the second to give CVCC a 1-0 lead. The Pirates scored another run in the third as Alabama Southern made three errors in the inning.
Notes: Rentz, who also won the opener in the ACCC tourney, was named the MVP. Players named to the all-tourney team were Kieboom, Jared Martin, Lynn, JD Perry. John Holland was presented with his Player of the Year award, and Thomas was given his Coach of the Year award. The speaker at the banquet before the world series is scheduled to be Tony La Russa. Columbus will have another tie to this year's world series. Former Columbus High standout Kyle Carter is on the Miami-Dade team that earned a berth on Wednesday.