No. 12 Providence rallies again to win WJOL title



By Drake Skleba
Senior Writer

JOLIET – A Hollywood scriptwriter could not have dreamed up a more satisfying script for Providence coach Mark Smith and his never-say-die Celtics. In the ninth-annual WJOL Area Invite Tournament Championship Game against Lockport, the Celtics trailed 4-3 with two outs in the top of the seventh and were down to their last strike.

Celtic junior RHP Dylan Rosa laced a clutch, two-out RBI single to right to tie the game at 4-4.  Junior catcher Cam Galgano was next and followed Rosa with a shot to right to put the Celtics up 5-4.

“Early in the game I was really struggling at the plate,” said Galgano. “I want to thank my teammates for keeping us in the game and allowing me to be in that position to get the game-winning hit. I went up thinking I have to get a good pitch to hit somewhere.”

Senior centerfielder Nick Sanders followed with a two-run single, his third hit of the day, to give the Celtics a 7-4 lead. Rosa (3.1IP, 0R 3H 3K 0BB) shutdown the Porters in the seventh, giving the Celtics a 7-4 WJOL Area Invite Championship Game victory. Rosa’s championship-game performance garnered him the 2013 WJOL Area Invite Tournament MVP.

“It’s totally unbelievable. What an honor to win the MVP and the WJOL Tournament championship. Simply Awesome,” said an elated Rosa after this outstanding championship game performance.”

The WJOL crown was the third for Providence, having won the tournament in 2007 and 2011.

“Great team effort. We all worked very hard for this,” said Sanders. I was looking middle-in all day. I just wanted to put the ball in play and move up our base runners.”

In the Celtic’s semifinal game with Minooka Saturday afternoon, they trailed 2-0 and erupted for five runs in the bottom of the seventh, winning on a walk-off three run bomb by junior Phil Kunsa.

“I am so proud of these kids. They just never quit,” said Smith. “What an outstanding performance by Dylan tonight. He threw an inning in the semifinal and I told him afterward he had to step up and be our guy on the mound. He certainly did tonight.”

Providence (4-1) took the lead in the first inning when senior second baseman Billy Quirke, hammered a solo shot into “The Beach” section in right field. Quirke had an outstanding night, picking up three hits.

“I had a good day at the plate,” said Quirke. “It’s just awesome to win the tournament championship. That’s the way a championship game should be played. Lockport played great. We played great. What a game.”

Rosa had the first of his clutch two-out RBI singles to give the Celtics a 2-0 lead. Providence would pick up an unearned run in the second to lead 3-0.

Lockport (4-2) loaded the bases loaded in the third. Porter third baseman Doug Matthews hammered a bomb to the warning track in center clearing the bases and tying the game at 3-3 with a triple.

Matthews had the game-winning homer in Lockport’s thrilling 4-3 come-from-behind semifinal win over Plainfield South Saturday afternoon. 

Purdue-bound Porter centerfielder Ted Snidanko would walk with the bases loaded in the fourth to give the Porters a 4-3 lead.

Other WJOL results:
Third Place: Minooka 14, Plainfield South 2 (6 innings)
Fifth Place: Joliet West 8, Joliet Catholic Academy 3
Seventh Place: Plainfield Central 8 Joliet Central 2

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