Oakton dethrones Tyler Junior College as NJCAA Division III national baseball champs
Oakton Community College has capped its 2018 season as NJCAA Division III national baseball champs with a quartet of local high school stars figuring prominently in the mix.
The Owls (47-14) knocked off Tyler Junior College 14-11 in the title game in 13 innings, ending the Apache’s string of four straight national titles.
Maine South alum Timo Schau, St. Viator’s Dan Sullivan, Glenbrook North’s Tommy Gertner and Prospect’s Lucas Karz all figured prominently. Schau went 2-for-6 with a double, walk, three runs and two RBIs, while Sullivan went 2-for-4 with a homer, three walks, three runs and two RBIs, and Karz banged out a pair of hits.
Gertner took the mound as the title-game starter and was later named MVP of the NJCAA Division III World Series, hurling 14.1 innings and earning 2 wins while fanning 12 batters.
All game long, the Owls displayed their grit in outlasting Tyler, which rallied from two-run deficits in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings. The latter comeback came courtesy of a two-out, two-run long ball.
Again, Oakton responded, this time plating three runs in the top of the 13th to end Tyler’s dominance, which included a streak of 26 straight College World Series wins.
Jose Vera Sanchez had a key hit in the inning for the Owls, who also benefited from two walks and two wild pitches in the inning.
Oakton manager Bill Fratto was also named Coach of the Tournament, with his squad becoming just the second Illinois team to earn the Division III title, joining Joliet, victors in 1994, 2008 and 2012