College Baseball: Joliet Junior College wins NJCAA national title
From Submitted Reports May 23, 2012 11:34PM
Updated: July 3, 2012 8:54AM
TYLER, Texas — Exactly what a championship game should be.
Dakota Brown (Minooka) tripled home the tying run in the bottom of the 10th inning Wednesday night and scored the winner on a sacrifice fly by Luke Andrade (Lincoln-Way West) to give Joliet Junior College a heart-stopping 6-5 victory over Niagara (N.Y.) for its third NJCAA Division III World Series championship under coach Wayne King.
Brown’s heroics helped cap a final three innings that were the ultimate roller coaster of emotions.
The Wolves were up 3-2 and one out away in the ninth. But Niagara mustered the game-tying and go-ahead hits to grab a 4-3 lead.
JJC, which entered the double-elimination finals as the undefeated team, was down to its last out in the bottom of the ninth. But Rick Gazarek (Plainfield Central) singled home the tying run to force extra innings.
Niagara went back ahead 5-4 in the top of the 10th on a two-out error, but Cole Judy singled, Brown tripled and Andrade lifted the sacrifice fly that allowed the Wolves to duplicate the national title the 1994 and 2008 teams accomplished
Right-hander Trevor Vermillion (Joliet Township) pitched five shutout innings for JJC (37-29) but left after Niagara (39-22) scored two in the sixth to go ahead 2-1. Casey Papp (Providence) singled home Gazarek to tie it in the bottom of the inning.
Lefty A.J. Woynerowski was perfect over his first 22/3 innings of relief, and Trey Russell put Joliet back ahead 3-2 with a run-scoring single in the eighth, his second RBI.
After Woynerowski walked the first batter in the ninth, Jonathan Rosario relieved and Niagara rallied with the two huge two-out hits.
Austin Vazquez (Providence), who allowed the unearned run in the top of the 10th, got the victory.