It was worth the wait. After a long wait throughout the opening day of the NJCAA Division III World Series, Josh O'Neill and the Dukes took care of business with a 7-0 victory over Waubonsee Community College.
O'Neill pitched a complete game shutout, sprinkling three hits over nine innings of work and striking out nine Chiefs. O'Neill took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before an error and two singles loaded the bases for Waubonsee CC creating a pivotal moment in the game.
After a stikeout from the man on the hill, freshman third baseman Justin Geri made a sensational diving stop on a hard hit ground ball to his left. Geri popped up and fired a strike over to Arturo Ocasio at first base to end the threat and maintain a 4-0 lead after six.
The Dukes added a run in the eighth on a throwing error, and two more runs in the ninth. After Lopez reached on a base hit, an RBI single by Jordan Glover and an RBI double from Jose Martinez pushed the Cumberland cushion to the final margin of seven. O'Neill then slammed the door in the ninth by striking out the side to put the exclamation point on Cumberland's opening round win of the national tournament.
Glover finished 2 for 5 with two RBIs, a double, and a run scored. Lopez went 3 for 5 at the dish adding a run and an RBI, and Tyler Mixon hit 2 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored. Leadoff man Tim Gallagher crossed the plate twice and Geri added an RBI single to his outstanding play in the field all evening.
With the win, the Dukes advanced into the winner's bracket and will play at 7PM (CDT) Sunday Night against St. Cloud Technical and Community College. The Cyclones out of St. Cloud, Minnesota defeated Prince George's Community College in the 4PM game on Saturday. In a coin toss directly following the Dukes win, St. Cloud won the toss and will be the home team in tomorrow night's game.