Joliet wins title in dramatic fashion

Joliet's Casey Papp (right) reaches second base as Niagara’s Cal Sluberski can’t apply the tag during the championship game of the NJCAA Division III?World Series on Wednesday at Mike Carter Field. (Herb Nygren Jr. | Tyler Morning Telegraph)

For the second time in four years, Joliet got to dogpile on Mike Carter Field.

Dakota Brown tripled in the tying run in the 10th inning and then scored the game-winner on Luke Andrade’s sacrifice fly as Joliet (Ill.) Junior College scored a 6-5 win over Niagara County (N.Y.) Community College on Wednesday to win the NJCAA Division III World Series.

It was the Wolves’ third national title, also winning in 1994 and 2008.

It appeared the Thunderwolves of Niagara — twice — would force another game on Thursday in the double-elimination tournament, but each time the Wolves of Joliet would not be denied.

Joliet entered the ninth with a 3-2 advantage, but the Thunderwolves scored twice to take a 4-3 lead. Jake Meehan walked to open the inning and was sacrificed to second by Nick Kellner. After an out, Kyle Craig, who hails from Canada and played at the 2004 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., singled sharply to right to tie the game at 3-3. The Thunderwolves then took the lead as Craig scored on TJ Giczkowski’s double.

Niagara took the 4-3 lead to the bottom of the ninth, but couldn’t hold it.

After an out, Trey Russell singled. On a full-count pitch, Russell stole second as Joliet’s Dan Eliopulos struck out. After Nick Gould walked, Rick Gazarek singled in Russell for a 4-4 tie to force extra innings.

Niagara went back on top 5-4 in the 10th as Meehan singled and eventually scored on Michael Orlowski’s single.

But Joliet did not want to play another game.

After an out, Cole Judy singled and eventually scored on Brown’s triple. Then tournament MVP Andrade’s sacrifice fly brought home the winning run.

NOTES: Tyler Junior College’s Jeremy Christian and Cody Ellerbee were named to the all-tournament team.

Joliet (Ill.) Junior College 6, Niagara County (N.Y.) Community College 5, 10 innings

NJCAA Division III World Series

At Mike Carter Field

Niagara0000020021—5 91

Joliet 1000011012—6122

Branson Saville, Richard Kowalski (7), Angelo Harkins (10) and Jake Meehan. Trevor Vermillion, AJ Woynerowskit (6), Jonathan Rosario (9), Austin Vasquez (10) and Casey Papp.

W — Vasquez. L — Harkins.

2B — N: TJ Giczkowski, Ernie Kirkwood. 3B — J: Dakota Brown.

RECORDS — Niagara 38-22. Joliet 37-29.

NJCAA Division III World Series

Presented By Wells Fargo

Advisors Tyler Texas Office

At Mike Carter Field

Saturday, May 19

Game 1: Tyler Junior College 7, St. Cloud (Minn.)?Technical &?Community College 0

Game 2: Joliet (Ill.) Junior College 10, Nassau (N.Y.)?Community College 0, 6 innings

Game 3: Niagara County (N.Y.) Community College 6, Gloucester (N.J.)?Community College 0

Game 4: Northern Essex (Mass.)?Community College 9, Montgomery (Md.)?College-Germantown 1

Sunday, May 20

Game 5: St. Cloud 6, Nassau?3, Nassau eliminated

Game 6: Gloucester 7, Montgomery 1, Montgomery eliminated

Game 7: Joliet 7, Tyler 5

Game 8: Northern Essex?6, Niagara 5

Monday, May 21

Game 9: Tyler 12, Gloucester 11, Gloucester eliminated

Game 10: Niagara 13, St. Cloud 3, 7 innings

Game 11: Joliet 8, Northern Essex?2

Tuesday, May 22

Game 12: Niagara 11, Tyler 3, Tyler eliminated

Game 13: Niagara 9, Northern Essex 5, Northern Essex eliminated

Wednesday, May 23

Game 14 (Championship): Joliet 6, Niagara 5, 10 innings

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