MARTINSVILLE, Va. – The Patrick Henry Community College baseball team recently made history- punching their ticket to the school’s first ever trip to the National Championship.
“It was an unbelievable feeling,” head coach Cody Ellis said. “It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my lifetime.”
Quite the full circle moment for Ellis, who played for the Patriots in 2011 and 2012, and was hired as head coach in 2019.
“When we took over two years ago, that was our number one goal, it was bringing a championship here, not only for the guys playing here now, but for everyone who came before us who laid the foundation to what we’re able to accomplish now,” he said.
But nothing comes easy, especially in a game as important as the one it took to get to this point. The Region 10 Championship against Pitt Community College went to 12 innings.
“It took a lot of mental strength, it was our seventh game in five days, our fifth elimination game, there was a lot going on,” sophomore first baseman Max Harper said. “Could have gone either way but we all held strong and pulled it out.”
With only ten junior colleges alive in the country, the Patriots will face Lackawanna in Oklahoma on Saturday, and are sharpening their tools in Martinsville today.
“On defense, our pitching is really good,” freshman pitcher Zach Kelly said. “On offense, we have some sticks that can absolutely hit the ball. When they all work together, I don’t know who could beat us.”
And the Patriots will soon put their talent to the test.
“I promise you we’re not going out there to play two games,” Ellis said. “We’re going out there to win it, and that’s going to be our number one goal, so regardless, it will be a good experience for everyone. Even though it’s the first time it won’t be the last time.”
The Patriots will face Lackawanna at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday May 29th in the first round of the NJCAA World Series.