ENID, Oklahoma— No. 1 seed Pearl River won its first national title on Saturday, beating Madison, 7-2, in the NJCAA Division II Baseball World Series championship game.
“It means a lot to a lot of people,” said PRCC coach Michael Avalon. “It’s bigger than our team. This is for the college and all of our former players and fans. It’s big. This is the next step in our program, and I’m grateful for that.
Madison’s loss ended the team’s best run since moving to Division II.
“You come here and you want to win a championship. All 10 teams did it,” Madison coach Mike Davenport said. “It gets a little more real when you win the first game and you’re one win away. It hurts a little more that we’re as close as we used to be.
When the Pearl River dugout cleared, the players celebrated a long-awaited title, but it didn’t always seem like Pearl River would be the team to celebrate in the final game.
“We want to come back and do it again, that’s the next step,” Avalon said.
Madison took a 2-0 lead in Game 1 against a Zach Storbakken homer, but once Pearl River got on the board, the Wildcats mounted a charge.
It had to wait until round six. Tate Parker homered in before Ian Montz scored two runs to take a 3-2 lead.
DK Donaldson added two runs in the seventh. Montz came home in the eighth but was first called for a house robbery. After some discussion, the officials reversed it, giving Montz the race on a scrap.
“Our crazy third base coach Slater Lott made the call,” Avalon said. “The pitcher didn’t come and that’s what was discussed. He was in the stretch and never came together. I’m glad the referees got together and got it right.
“It certainly didn’t cost us the game,” Davenport said. “Every game is going to have calls. I didn’t agree with that. You had six guys on the court who didn’t call it, so I don’t know how any of them called it live.
Alex Perry hit a left in the ninth to top it off.
Donaldson was named the tournament’s MVP. He had five RBIs in the championship series.
“Honestly, I’m at a loss for words,” Donaldson said. “It’s the greatest feeling. This is the objective we set ourselves at the start of the year.
Perry had two home runs and five RBIs in the Championship Series as a rookie.
“I saw the ball well. I knew the last two games were big games,” Perry said. “I knew we were doing well when we were down 2-0. We have been back a handful of times. When we gain momentum, our team is hard to stop.
Dakota Lee was named the tournament’s top pitcher. Lee pitched 12 innings in the tournament, allowing 11 hits and three runs while striking out 10.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Lee said. “I wouldn’t want to do it with another group of guys. We have worked hard this year and it has paid off. I think I can get used to holding the title in my hand.
❝David Allen Memorial Ballpark and Enid, Oklahoma will always be very special places for me. It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball.❞…⚾️⚾️⚾️ Three miracles happened in late spring 2019 that led Northern Oklahoma College Enid to win the NJCAA Division II World Series. Alan Buonasera, father of one of the players, shares those miracles and reminisces about that ‘dream season’ in this first-person story.