Greeneville, TN – For the first time since 2013 a new team has been crowned the NJCAA DIII Baseball World Series champions. Oakton (IL) outlasted the four-time defending champions Tyler (TX) Apaches 14-11 in a thrilling 13-inning affair to win its first national title.
Oakton scored three runs in the top half of the 13th inning and held the Apaches scoreless in the bottom frame to secure the national championship in its first World Series appearance in program history. The No. 4 seed Owls completed the season with a 44-17 record while No. 3 seed Tyler finished as runners-up at 33-29.
After a weeks-worth of weather delays that included a full day off in between championship games, Oakton and Tyler battled back and forth through the opening innings of Friday's contest. The Owls held a slim 5-4 lead through four innings and led 7-5 heading into the bottom of the 9th, but a pair of Apache runs forced extra innings.
Both sides produced two runs in the 10th and 11th frames before a scoreless 12th. Marco Romero jolted home on a wild pitch in the 13th inning and Jose Sanchez provided a two-run double for the three-run cushion. Alexander Crinigan closed out the game with his second consecutive scoreless inning to lead Oakton to the title.
- Tommy Gertner was named Tournament MVP after pitching 14.1 innings with 12 strikeouts on the mound in two victories for the Owls.
- Head coach Bill Fratto was named the Coach of the Tournament after leading Oakton to its first-ever national championship.
- Christopher Broccolino produced a dominant offensive performance in the tournament after going 11-23 (.478) that included a 5-7 effort in the final game.
- Oakton averaged 8.6 runs per game as the Owls went 4-1 in the tournament, its lone loss to Tyler in the double-elimination bracket.
- Tyler, who has won the last four national championships, placed three players on the All-Tournament team in Chase Evans, Ty Meissner, and Michael Spinozzi.
- Oakton becomes just the second Illinois program to capture the DIII title, joining Joliet (1994, 2008, and 2012).