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Penn baseball tops St. Joe for fifth straight NIC title

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Penn and Saint Joe are no strangers to championships on the diamond.

The Indians captured a state championship in 2017, but the Kingsmen entered the season with four consecutive titles in the Northern Indiana Conference.

Now, Penn has made it five in a row.

The Kingsmen outlasted Saint Joe with a 3-2 victory in extra innings - the result of a matchup that lived up to its hype.

"We can play with anybody in the state." said Kingsmen coach Greg Dikos. "We're not afraid of being down one or two runs. We're keeping the snowball rolling. It's always good [to get a] victory and keep it going after it. It means a lot against a quality team like Saint Joe."

Both squads put their stars on the mound. Saint Joe's Michael Dunkelberger and Penn's Ryan Lynch surrendered just one run each through the seven regulation innings. However, the Kingsmen finally broke through in the eighth inning with two runs as Marshal Furner hit an RBI triple, then scored on an errant throw to third.

"It's a good tune-up," Dikos said. "This game makes us better and that's the important thing. Just tune up and get ready for sectionals. Two excellent pitchers going at each other. Digging it in, gutting it out, grinding it out. A hell of a ballgame to get us ready for Sectionals in a couple weeks."

Penn now has two remaining games on its regular season schedule. They'll face Mishawaka and Concord before Sectionals begin.

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