There is a new champion in NJCAA Division II baseball.
After a disheartening loss in game one of the Championship Series, the Pearl River Community College (PRCC) Wildcats persisted and won two games in a row to earn its first-ever national championship.
PRCC had been on an impressive roll prior to the championship series. After a record-breaking 45-win season, a MACCC Championship, and a Region 23 Championship, it was no surprise that the Wildcats were competing for a national title.
In Enid, Okla., where the Championship Series took place, PRCC lost its first game to No. 2 nationally-ranked Madison College. Fortunately, the Wildcats did not surrender. Following a dominant victory in game two, the Wildcats donned their all-gold uniforms for game three. Subsequently, the gold attire was a good luck charm for PRCC as they defeated Madison College 7-2 to take home the title of national champions.
“They didn’t make it easy for sure. That’s the way we wanted it and that’s the way we prepared all year. We were down early and these guys never quit. That’s just not who we are. Man, what a special group,” head coach Michael Avalon said. “This group will live forever and that’s what is special. This is the best program in the country. This is the best community college in the country. I’m just thankful and blessed to be a part of it and be at Pearl River.”
The victory marked the 200th career win for Avalon as a head coach.
“Mission accomplished. This is just a remarkable team and a remarkable coaching staff. I’m in awe of them,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood proudly said.
Additional merits were earned after the championship. Gulfport’s D.K Donaldson was awarded the NCJAA DII tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Tate Parker, also from Gulfport, was given the Outstanding Offensive Player award. John Griffen Bell of Mobile, Ala. was granted the Outstanding Defensive Player award. Lastly, the Coach of the Tournament title was given to none other than Avalon.