Lincoln Trail College scored eight runs in the eighth inning of the NJCAA Region 24 baseball championship game on Sunday, defeating SWIC 14-9.
The eighth-seeded Blue Storm defeated top-seed and host John A. Logan College twice in the double-elimination event that began Friday. John A. Logan entered the tournament ranked 17th in the nation.
SWIC (21-29) led 9-6 entering the bottom of the eighth inning against Lincoln Trail on Sunday. But the second-seeded Statesmen scored eight runs against a short-handed Blue Storm pitching staff. Keaten Sackett’s pinch hit three-run hme run was the big hit of the inning.
“We had a great run in the playoffs this weekend,” SWIC coach Neil Fiala said. “I am really proud of the way we played. We beat the No. 17 team in the country twice and were leading in the championship game going into the eighth. We operated most of the season with only seven healthy pitchers and to finish this strong is a tribute to the effort our guys put in this weekend.”
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This was the first time in five years that SWIC had advanced into the Region 24 title game. Lincoln Trail moves on to Wabash Valley College for the North District Tournament.