World Series bound! NCCC baseball representing WNY at NJCAA Division III National Tournament

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Posted at 5:30 PM, May 27, 2021

SANBORN, N.Y. (WKBW) — For the first time since 2017 and for the 6th time in program history, the Niagara Community College baseball team is headed to the NJCAA Division III World Series.

"We all knew this was a program that could make it to the World Series," pitcher Ryan Peterson said. "It's why I came here."

An incredible feat for the Thunderwolves squad as one of just eight teams in the DIII bracket. A reward for their hard work and constant battles.

"Our team got COVID twice and we had to sit out and then re-practice, and sit out and re-practice, and then start our season," head coach Matt Clingersmith said. "They overcame a lot of adversity but I think a lot of great championship teams overcome a lot of adversity and that speaks for themselves."

A no quit mentality as they're carrying on the work ethic and example set by the players before them. None of the guys on this current team have made it to the World Series tournament, but they have the drive and attitude to conquer anything.

"We know our competition's gonna be hard and we know it's gonna be a test for us," Peterson said. "But I think it's just go in there and do what we know how to do."

And it's why one motto is being preached this weekend: it's not how you start, but how you finish.

The Thunderwolves made it to the championship game the last time around but aren't worried about how the bracket plays out. They're set on representing Western New York and making this program a destination.

"Coaches said last week: be good for the people that built this program and the kids in the future will do the same thing for us," 2nd baseman Cole Laskowski said. "So it feels good."

The Thunderwolves will play their first game this Saturday at 8pm against St. Cloud Tech. All games are being played in Greenville, Tennessee.