LARGO, Md. – A Bay To (Philadelphia, Pa./Neumann) game-tying hit and a kid born in North Carolina with a walk-off base hit has been the winning formula for Prince George's Community College in the first two games of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Baseball Tournament. After To tied the game at 7 in the ninth with an RBI single, Dakota McFadden (Largo, Md./Heide Trask [N.C.]) plated To with the game-winning run on a double to propel the Owls (30-12-1) past Montgomery and into the NJCAA Division III Region XX Championship Game with an 8-7 victory on Monday.
On Sunday, Prince George's rallied from 5-0 deficit with one out in the ninth to defeat Butler 6-5 in 10 innings. To tied that game with a two-run cue shot into right field in the ninth and then won the game on a walk-off single by Ryan Faircloth (Wade, N.C./Cape Fear) in the 10th to advance to Monday's winner bracket game against the Raptors (24-24).
Montgomery used a four-run rally capped by a solo home run by Brock Antognoni in the eighth to take its only lead of the contest, 7-6. The Owls can be called the cardiac kids, but at especially at home it seems like they always have a wing and a prayer for an exciting finish.
With one out in the ninth, Dwayne Coleman (Lothian, Md./Southern) reached on an error and moved to second on a balk before To singled to left center to score Coleman and tie the game at 6. McFadden, who was searching for his first base hit of the tournament, then hit one of his patented line-drive doubles to the gap in right center to bring home To with the game-winning run and send the Largo team rushing onto the field for its second-straight walk-off single and into the championship game.
Prince George's has scored the decisive run in its final offensive inning seven times this season at the Prince George's Baseball Field, including four walk-off victories.
Brandon Crosby (Richmond, Va./Atlee, Mechanicsville) paced the Owls with two hits, two runs scored and an RBI while Coleman added two hits, three RBIs and a run scored. Jared Davis (Largo, Md./Bayside [Va.]) posted two hits and a run scored while Kevin Kornieck (Largo, Md./Woodbridge [Va.]) pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win for the second-straight game.
Antognoni led the Raptors with three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored, and Cole Wykoff added two hits and three runs scored.
The Owls started the game by jumping out to a 6-3 lead to make the Prince George's faithful keep the heart monitors on the dock only to need some cardiac attention at the end.
Prince George's scored twice in the first to grab a 2-0 lead. Crosby was hit with a pitch, stole second and came around to score on Coleman's RBI single through the left side. After To reached on a fielder's choice and stole second, Harold Marte (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) plated To with an opposite field single to right field for a two-run lead.
Wykoff answered for Montgomery in the second with an RBI double to right center to trim the margin to 2-1.
A two-run second for the Owls increased the advantage to 4-1. After Davis reached on a fielder's choice and Austin Adams (Fayetteville, Ga./Whitewater) reached on an error, Crosby hit a double off the center field fence to score Davis and Coleman brought home Adams on a sacrifice fly.
Again the Raptors responded with a run in the third thanks to a Wykoff bases loaded walk to make it a two-run game.
Back-to-back doubles by Crosby and Coleman restored a three-run lead on the fourth only to see Montgomery answer in the fifth on a Wykoff RBI groundout to make the score 5-3.
A Faircloth homer down the left field line handed the Largo team a 6-3 lead after five innings.
The Raptors then began to chip away at the margin with two runs in the sixth on consecutive run-scoring doubles by Greg Brown and Antognoni to cut the deficit to 6-5. Montgomery then tied the game at 6 in the seventh on a Naja Garcia RBI groundout.
Antognoni then momentarily gave the Raptors the lead with a homer in the eighth, but To and McFadden had that comeback formula to propel the Owls to the victory,
Montgomery defeated CCAC-South 9-2 in the elimination game to move to the title bout against Prince George's on Tuesday at 11 a.m. It the Raptors win the first game the two teams will play a winner-takes-all game 30 minutes after the conclusion of the 11 a.m. game.