NCCC baseball reaches national final
Niagara County Community College reached the finals of the NJCAA Division III World Series Championship after defeating Northern Essex Tuesday night, 9-5. Earlier on Tuesday, the Thunderwolves beat No. 3 ranked Tyler, 11-3, in eight innings.
NCCC plays tourney-unbeaten Joliet at 7 p.m. tonight in the double-elimination format event. If necessary, another game will be played Thursday night at 7.
The Thunderwolves scored four runs on five hits in the sixth inning against Northern Essex. An Ernie Kirkwood double with two outs drove in a pair of runs in the inning. Michael Orlowski went 4 for 5 and scored a run in the win.
UB baseball has tough test
The University at Buffalo baseball team plays in its first Mid-American Conference Tournament game tonight at 7:30 p.m. when it faces No. 1 seed Kent State (37-17) in Avon, Ohio.
The Bulls (18-34) closed out the regular season with a win over Bowling Green to wrap up the tournament's No. 8 seed.
The Bulls come into the postseason on a roll offensively. UB is averaging 12.6 hits over its past three games and finished the regular season with a team batting average of .304, second in MAC.
Elsewhere in college news, first-year Canisius College men's basketball coach Jim Baron has his staff in place in Pat Clarke, Fred Dupree and Mike Mennenga. Clarke, a native of Olean, has worked with Baron since their days at St. Bonaventure. Dupree played at Canisius from 1994-98 while Mennenga is a former UB assistant under Reggie Witherspoon.
*Cory Conacher, formerly of Canisius College, and the Norfolk Admirals blanked St. John's, 4-0, to complete a four-game sweep of the semifinal series of the American Hockey League playoffs. Norfolk will play the winner of the Toronto-Oklahoma City series for the Calder Cup.
*James Blackwell shot a final round 3-under 69 to win the Buffalo District Golf Association Men & Women's Tournament of Champions Invitational. Blackwell, last year's BDGA Junior Player of the Year who is headed to Ball State, won by four shots over runners-up Desmond Stoll and Danny Yustin.
*Three-time U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters says this year's U.S. Open will be her last tournament before retiring.
From News Staff and wire service reports