Kankakee Cavaliers win NJCAA Division II World Series
Kankakee Community College won its first baseball championship, beating Mercer County Community College of West Windsor, New Jersey, in the 2017 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Baseball World Series.
The seventh seed Kankakee Cavaliers upset the No. 4 Mercer County Vikings 11-5 in the championship game June 3 at David Allen Memorial Ballpark in Enid, Oklahoma, according to the NJCAA.
“It’s such an amazing feat to win a national title, and the credit goes to the players,” Todd Post, head coach for the Cavaliers, said in a KCC news release. “They put in the time and effort and played well throughout the season and at the regional tournament. Winning the national title is a culmination of a lot of efforts.”
Mercer County had a lead of 2-0 over Kankakee in the first portion of the game. The series' Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Tournament, Matt Littrell, brought the Cavaliers their first run of the game. His average for the tournament was .500 from the plate, 15 RBIs and one home run. He broke Mesa (AZ) player Jordan Zimmerman's 2014 record of 14 RBIs.
Kankakee was still behind 2-1 but the game took a turn in the fourth inning. The Cavaliers brought in seven runs, edging out an 8-2 lead over Mercer County. While both teams failed to score in the fifth inning, Mercer County scored three runs, bringing the score to 8-5 in the sixth. The Cavaliers earned their next runs in the seventh and eighth innings, bringing the score against the Vikings to 11-5.
Kankakee closed out the season with a 54-11-1 record.
During the tournament, the team made a new record with 78 runs in seven tournament games. They scored in the double-digits for five consecutive games, breaking a LSU-Eunice record of 70 runs set in 2010.
Mercer County ended the season with a 48-14 record. The team's Dennis Brady was named Pitcher of the Tournament. He earned two wins and only permitted two runs in the 15 innings he pitched.
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