When pirates of any kind get together, there is usually a battle to see who is better. Not much different than the No. 1 Chattahoochee Valley Pirates (50-11, 1-1 JUCO) vs. the No. 4 Iowa Western Reivers (52-13, 2-0 JUCO), two pirates doing battle under the lights in the JUCO World Series.
Both expected to win this fight on the high seas — or, in this case, remain in the winners bracket. Iowa Western needed only eight runs to beat Chatt. Valley, in the Memorial Night game, 8-0.
The game with these two giants of the JUCO world felt like a heavy weight bought before first pitch, which lasted only seven innings due to the eight run rule. Iowa Western imposed their will on Chatt. Valley from the get go, silencing their explosive bats for all seven innings.
Jacob Niggemeyer gave a good performance for the audience of 11,000 at Suplizio Field. Niggemeyer, former Ohio State University pitcher, went 6.1 innings with four hits and six strikeouts on 101 pitches. Niggemeyer really worked his stuff, keeping the streaky Pirates’ hitters at bay all game.
The Reivers’ bats collected 14 hits, with eight runs crossing the plate.
Matt Lloyd set the tone for the offense, with four RBI’s on a one for four night from the plate. Eric Mingus, Grandview high school product, came in behind Lloyd with two of his own RBI’s going one for four from the plate as well.
Matt Hoeg goes four for four from the plate, with one RBI, really showing the balance of the “river boat reivers” offense.
Head Coach Marc Rardin knows that Niggemeyer wasn’t spectacular on the mound, but he was good enough to put them in a position to win the game.
“He struggled and he agrees, but boy did he settle in when he needed to,” Rardin said.
The Reivers’ win the battle of the pirates in the JUCO World Series, keeping them undefeated in the tourney and in the winners bracket.