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St. John's pitcher earns spot on ESPN's SportsCenter


St. John's Jesuit pitcher Joe Robie (8).

The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth
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You never know when your dreams are going to become reality.

For St. John's senior pitcher Joe Robie and junior catcher Corey Tipton that day was Monday during the Three Rivers Athletic Conference baseball championship game at Mercy Field.

During the Titans' 8-4 win over Fremont Ross, they combined for a gem good enough to become the No. 1 play of the day among the top 10 plays on ESPN's national broadcast of SportsCenter.

The play can be viewed here.

In the third, with a runner on first and one out, Ross shortstop Tyler Wolf hit a short pop in front of the plate along the first-base line.

Tipton sprung from his crouch, had his path blocked by Wolf in the batter's box, and dived to keep the ball in the air with his mitt.

Robie then dived to make a bare-handed grab just before the ball hit the turf for the unusual 2-1 popout.

"That was awesome," Robie said. "I never really expected that. I was swimming [after the game], and I picked up my phone, and I had all these missed calls and texts. People were going crazy about it. Then I saw it on [ESPN], and I was like, ‘No way.'

"As a little kid I always dreamed of being on SportsCenter's Top 10 and, what do you know, it came true. It's one thing to be on there, but it's another thing to be No. 1. I never thought in my wildest dreams that would come true. I saw it on there, and I still don't believe it."

Tipton said a St. John's junior varsity player, Jeremy O'Brien, contacted an associate producer from ESPN on Twitter and showed him the video. "They wanted it," Tipton said, "and they got the footage from BCSN."

"I figured it was close enough to catch, and I just tried to make the play on it and didn't make it. But I kept it up in the air, and Joe came in and swept it away. It all worked out."

Like Robie, Tipton had trouble Monday night believing what they had become part of.

"It's one of those things that, if somebody tried to tell you [it happened], it would seem like a joke," Tipton said. "You'd say, ‘Yeah, you're just messing with me.' To see that get on there, my whole family was happy. It's good to bring publicity to Toledo and show people how sports are doing here."

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