The Valmeyer Pirates did something they weren’t able to get done last season — bring home a sectional title.
The Pirates (25-9) hung on to defeat the Carrollton Hawks 7-4 in Saturday’s Class 1A Greenville Sectional championship game at Greenville College.
With the win and the first sectional title in school history the Pirates will either face (14-10) Abingdon-Avon or (22-11) Routt Catholic in the Springfield super-sectional Tuesday at Lincoln Land Community College.
“It’s huge getting a sectional championship,” said junior Cole Juelfs. “We play for moments like these.”
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The difference was the third inning, in which the Pirates put up four runs to erase an early 2-0 Carrollton lead.
Juelfs got things started with a double to left. Senior Easton Wallace then drove singled home a run to give Valmeyer a lead it would never give up.
Pirate freshman Phillip Reinhardt capped off the rally with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.
“We were trying to do too much and swung at some bad pitches in the first inning or so, but then we settled down during the second time through the order,” said Valmeyer coach Greg Reinhardt.
“It really helped having our eight and nine guys (Andrew Whipple and Riley McCarthy) get things started for us. Then Cole had that huge double to the fence, which kind of took some pressure off of us after trailing 2-0.”
On the mound, Reinhardt retired the next six in order.
The Pirates added a run in each of the final three innings.
Carrollton made Reinhardt earn his eighth win of the season. He would eventually have to leave the game in the top of the seventh after reaching the 105-pitch limit.
Reinhardt pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs — two earned — on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
“This is a special team. Me and the coaches that help me out (Chad Kempfer and Brad Juelfs) all have sons on the team, which makes it special. We have been with these kids since they were five or six,” said Greg Reinhardt.
Wallace led Valmeyer in hitting by going 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs.
“We made it easy for them to score runs today”, said Carrollton Coach Jeff Krumwiede. “They have a great opportunity to continue to make this run last more than this year for them, and I think we do to. I’m sure we will get a chance to see Mr. (Phillip) Reinhardt again.”
Carrollton finishes its season at 25-6.