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 May 13, 2013

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. --- Whenever the history of Prairie State College baseball is written, the name Joe Prete is sure to be mentioned.

As a matter of fact, after considering what the freshman pitcher accomplished on Sunday, he'll probably have has own chapter.

Prete, a Stagg High School product, delivered a performance of historic proportions, which can only be described as legendary in stature.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Prete worked the final five innings of PSC's 13-8 win over McHenry on Sunday before coming back 30 minutes later to pitch all nine frames of the Pioneers' 8-1 win over the Scotts, securing Prairie State's first-ever NJCAA Region IV Sectional baseball crown.

In all, Prete worked 14 innings Sunday, allowing just one run on six hits while walking four and striking out four.

In the 8-1 triumph over the Scotts he set down 19 consecutive McHenry hitters between the second and eighth innings.

PSC (30-17) will now move on to the NJCAA Region IV Finals for the first time in program history. The region finals will be held in Madison, Wis. beginning Friday morning.

The Pioneers opened sectional play Saturday, knocking off Sauk Valley 8-7 before falling to McHenry 7-1 on the first day of the double-elimination tournament.

The Pioneers rallied from a 1-0 deficit in their second game against the Scots on Sunday.

"The character our team displayed in coming back and beating an extremely talented McHenry team was just unbelievable," PSC head coach Bill Storrs Jr. said.

Needless to say, Storrs could barely find the words to describe Prete's heroics.

"Joe's effort on that mound was the most impressive thing I've ever witnessed on a baseball field. Simple as that."

In the 8-1 sectional-clinching win, PSC pounded out eight hits, to McHenry's three.

PSC took a 2-1 lead in the clincher courtesy of an RBI double off the bat of sophomore third baseman Joe Sadowski (St. Laurence H.S.) and RBI single by freshman designated hitter Dominic Hartman (Lincoln-Way North H.S.).

The Pioneers used a six-run eighth frame to put the contest out of reach.

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