|The Trojan baseball team celebrates after winning the Region IV Tournament Championship May 14|
Trojans Capture Region IV Baseball Title – Continue Quest for World Series Berth
The Triton College baseball team
christened the new Symonds-Puckett Field with its first postseason celebration
as the Trojans won the NJCAA Region IV Division I crown with a 9-4 victory
Saturday over South Suburban College.
For Triton (36-18), it is their
21st regional title in program history, the first since 2009, ending
a string of five consecutive Region IV championships for the Bulldogs. The
Trojans who are an impressive 22-5 in their new digs will host the NJCAA Northern
District Tournament Friday through Sunday at Symonds-Puckett Field. Triton will
open the tournament against Region 24 champion Wabash Valley College (Mt.
Carmel, Ill.) Friday at 1 p.m. The winner of the district tournament will
advance to the NJCAA Division I World Series May 28-June 4 in Grand Junction,
“I think this is a special group
because of the overall makeup and character of the team,” said head coach Harry
Torgerson, who was awarded Region IV Coach of the Year following the win. “We
talk about grinding out at bats, winning innings and the guys have bought into
The Trojans followed that winning
formula during a three-run third inning to take a 5-3 lead, an advantage they
would not relinquish. Corey Krupske (Lincoln-Way North) and tournament MVP
Trayvon Johnson (St. Joseph, Ill.) started the frame with singles. James
Battley (St. Joseph, Wis.) would drive in Krupske on a sacrifice fly to tie the
game at three. On the play, Johnson took
second and stole third during Justin Gorr’s (Bay City, Mich.) at bat. Gorr
would eventually walk and Johnson scored on a ground out to shortstop by Connor
Pauly (Glenbrook South) to give Triton a 4-3 edge. Anthony Tejeda (Cape Coral,
Fla.) tripled to center to bring home Gorr to cap the inning.
South Suburban (24-29-1) pulled
within 5-4, but the Trojans put the game out of reach with three runs in their
half of the seventh on an RBI groundout by Tejeda and a two-run single by Ryan
Leo (Corona, N.Y.)
Chad DeGroot (Lincoln-Way East)
had a solid outing to improve to 3-0. The redshirt sophomore threw 114 pitches
in 7 and a 1/3 innings pitched, allowing four runs, three were earned while
striking out five. Zach Jackovich (Joliet Catholic) was unhittable in relief.
The right hander recorded the final five outs including striking out the last
four batters he faced to close out the win for Triton.
The MVP was a tough pick because
there were several players who made an impact throughout the tournament, but
Torgerson felt Johnson got the nod by saving runs with his defense on the
infield and picking up some timely hits. The redshirt sophomore and Berkeley
resident was surprised he was selected MVP and was focused on what he and his
“I’m speechless,” Johnson said
afterwards. “It’s nice to get the award, but it’s about my teammates. We knew
we had a good team coming into the season that was capable of doing something
special. It was a matter of how bad we wanted it and we worked hard to win the
region and will need the do the same (at the district tournament).”
Click here for the full NJCAA
Northern District tournament schedule.
For more information on Triton
College Athletics, contact Triton College Athletic Director Harry McGinnis at
(708) 456‐0300, Ext. 3784, or visit www.triton.edu/athletics.