Whenever two talented teams collide early and often, there is usually unpredictability and plenty of tense moments. In a battle of two Route 55 rivals, No. 1 seed RCGC (42-10) will meet No. 3 seed Cumberland (46-5) tonight in the NJCAA Division III World Series Championship finals at Pioneer Park on the campus of Tusculum University in Greeneville, TN. And who knows how this heavyweight battle will play out in what is the fifth meeting between the two teams this spring.
The Roadrunners must beat the Dukes twice in order to win the school's eighth baseball national title. Cumberland only needs to win once to claim the school's first-ever D-III crown in any sport. This scenario evolved thanks to the Runners' heartbreaking 15-13 loss to Cumberland in the national semifinal Monday night.
RCGC bounced back in grand fashion by rallying to stun No. 2 seed Brookhaven College 11-10 on Tuesday night in a losers' bracket contest to qualify for the championship finals and a rematch with the Dukes.
The history this spring between these two teams (see below) has been unpredictable to say the least.
Tonight will mark the fifth meeting this season between the two programs with the series tied 2-2 heading into tonight at 7 pm. With a win, the deciding championship game would be played Thursday at 7pm.
History of Roadrunners vs. Cumberland Spring 2019
March 29 -- Cumberland 1, RCGC 0
April 23 -- RCGC 7, Cumberland 5
May 17 (Region XIX Final 4): RCGC 21, Cumberland 1
May 27 (NJCAA D III World Series): Cumberland 15, RCGC 13
But none of the history matters to sophomore catcher Alex Gattinelli, the hero of the comeback win over Brookhaven who had a walk-off RBI single in extra innings to secure the wild win.
"We're winning it all," Gattinelli said following the Brookhaven win. "There's no doubt in my mind. Everybody on this team believes we're the best in the country, and we're going to bring it home."
See below on how to follow tonight's game-time action live from Pioneer Park in Greeneville, TN.
WATCH LIVE CHAMPIONSHIP ACTION ON NJCAATV!