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WJOL baseball: Providence stuns Lockport for title

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Updated: May 30, 2013 5:27PM



Two storied programs in Joliet area baseball were back at again Saturday night, thrilling the 500-plus fans who braved the chill to watch the championship game of the ninth annual WJOL Area Baseball Invite at Silver Cross Field.

What a fitting end to a tournament loaded with excitement.

Leading Providence 4-3, Lockport was one out from the title. But before the top of the seventh ended, Dylan Rosa tied the game with a single, Cam Galgano put the Celtics ahead with a hard single to right and Nick Sanders added the insurance with a two-run single up the middle for a 7-4 victory.

The fireworks made a winner of tournament MVP Rosa, who finished it off with his 31/3 shutout inning of relief, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth when he induced Lockport slugger Derek Bangert to fly out to left and knocked in two runs with two hits.

“This is awesome to win the MVP,” an emotional Rosa said. “Everything is awesome, the championship, the MVP.”

“What a great job Dylan did on the mound and with the two big hits,” Providence coach Mark Smith said of Rosa.

The championship was Providence’s third, and Smith noted the significance.

“History has shown that the team that wins this tournament goes on to big things in the postseason,” he said. “We won in 2011 and finished second in the state and Minooka won last year and finished fourth.”

Providence, coming off the high of a five-run seventh inning, capped by Phil Kunsa’s walkoff three-run homer, to beat Minooka 5-2 in the semifinals, got the early jump as left-handed hitting Billy Quirke, the second batter in the game, found the beach in right field with a solo home run. That triggered a two-run inning as Rosa’s single knocked in a run.

Providence tacked on an unearned run the second inning when Quirke delivered the second of his three consecutive hits to make it 3-0.

The Celtics (4-1) were in the driver’s seat. But not for long.

Doug Matthews backed up teammate Derek Bangert’s long home run with the decisive blast as No. 5 Lockport (4-2) rallied to beat Plainfield South 4-3 in the semifinals at Ed Flink Field.

Enough heroics for one day? Not for Matthews. He blasted a two-out, three-run triple over the dive of Providence center fielder Nick Sanders in the bottom of the third inning to erase the 3-0 deficit. He also led off the Lockport seventh with a double to the base of the wall in left field, capping a tournament that was MVP worthy had the Porters been able to get that final out.

Lockport went ahead 4-3 when Ted Snidanko walked with the bases loaded in the fourth. With the way Lockport senior right-hander Nick Lindemann had settled in following the shaky start, it appeared that would be enough.

In the Providence seventh, however, Kunsa’s single and a walk to Devin Williams set up the two-out uprising. Lindemann left after walking Williams and the Celtics rallied against reliever Noah Masa.



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