King’s Baseball Picks Up Important Split with DeSales

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MARCH 24, 2018


WILKES-BARRE, PA --- The King's College baseball team picked up an important split with DeSales University on Saturday afternoon at Lipo Field in Wilkes-Barre. The Monarchs used a three-run sixth inning to take the opener 5-3 before dropping the nightcap 5-4 in eight innings.

The Monarchs are now 6-8 overall and 2-3 in Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom play. The Bulldogs win the season series over the Monarchs and hold an 8-9 overall record and 3-2 mark in the conference.

In the first game, King's loaded the bases with two out in the top of the first on a Chris Rebar single, a walk to Kyle Lupas, and Shawn Stone getting hit by a pitch. The Bulldogs were able to get out of the inning when their Connor Lafferty was able to catch a foul ball down the right-field line just before the ball went out of play. In the bottom of the inning, John Wickiser made quick work on the mound getting two groundouts and a line out to right on just 11 pitches.

DeSales scored the first runs of the game in the second with two runs on four hits. Wickiser struck out two batters after a leadoff infield single down the third baseline. However, with a runner on second the Bulldogs were able to string together three consecutive hits. Wickiser struck out Charlie Barebo to end the inning.

King's responded right away in the third when Dan Hartson led off with a single to left center and then Christian Pack had a perfectly placed bloop single to center. Two batters later, with runners on second and third with two outs Stone tied the game with a single to left field and then advanced to second on the throw home. DeSales got a grounder to short to get out of the inning. The Bulldogs retook the lead in the bottom of the inning when Cody Mish led off with a hit, stole second, and then scored on a failed pickoff attempt and a throwing error.

The next couple innings turned into a pitcher's duel as neither team was able to get a runner past second base. That all changed in the top of the sixth when the Monarchs put together a game-changing two-out rally. Sean Padden started it off with a triple to right center which forced the Bulldogs to make a pitching change. Brad Wilkins then knocked him in with a pinch-hit single to right. Sean McKee gave the Monarchs the lead when he hit a 3-2 pitch to right center for a triple and forced another Bulldog pitching change. Hartson continued the rally with a single to center to make the game 5-3. Pack doubled down the left field line to put runners on second and third before DeSales finally got out of the inning with a groundout to first base.

Those runs were all Wickiser needed on the mound as he set the Bulldogs down in order in both the sixth and seventh innings to give King's the victory.

Harston and Pack each had two hits to lead the Monarchs in the game while Stone knocked in two runs. Seven different Monarchs had at least one hit in the game. Wickiser picked up his second win of the year with a complete game seven-hitter. He allowed three runs and struck out seven.

The first couple innings of the nightcap went really fast as there were 10 total pitches in the first inning and the first hit came on a two-out infield single to short by Michael White in the bottom of the second. Dan Hartson got out of the inning with his fifth ground out to begin the game.

The Monarchs got their first hit of the game in the third when Wilkins led off with a double down the left field line on the first pitch. Two batters later Hartson drove him in with a two-out single to left. In the bottom of the inning, the Bulldogs put runners on the corners with one out.  Michael White tied the game for DeSales when he stole home on a double steal attempt. The Bulldog runner on first, Barebo, attempted to steal second but stopped right before the bag to get in a rundown. As the Monarchs were forcing him back towards first White took off for home. The relay throw home beat White to the plate but he was able to avoid the tag until he slid safely across the plate.

Neither team was able to score again until the fifth when the Bulldogs loaded the bases with two outs. Chris Lupole, who relieved Hartson on the mound with two on and one out, seemed to get out of the inning when he forced a popup in the infield. Unfortunately for the Monarchs, the ball happened to find a hole and fell in just out of the diving reach of Pack for a run-scoring single. Lupole forced a fly ball to center to keep the Bulldogs from scoring any more runs.

Similar to the first game King's had a big sixth inning with three runs on three hits and an error. Hartson, Pack, and Rebar started the inning with three single loading the bases. The Monarchs tied the score at two when Shawn Stone reached on a fielding error by the Bulldog shortstop. Matt Mellinger then gave King's the lead when he drew a six-pitch walk and forced a pitching change. Padden knocked in the third run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to left field.

In the bottom of the inning, DeSales put runners on the corners with two outs. They scored an unearned run when Nick White scored on a throwing error during a failed pickoff attempt to first base. Lupole got the next batter to fly out to right to end the inning.

In the seventh McKee led off with a single to right and then stole second. After a pitching change and back-to-back walks by Pack and Rebar to load the bases with one out, the Bulldogs changed pitchers again. Kyle Lupas was sent to the plate and hit a hard grounder to third. The Bulldog third baseman tagged third for the force out and then threw the first to try and complete the double-play. His throw was in the dirt and the Bulldogs first baseman was unable to come up with the throw cleanly and it looked like Lupas reached first before he was able to recover but the umpire ruled Lupas out ending the inning without the Monarchs scoring.

In the bottom of the inni,ng Preston Amato drew a leadoff walk and then was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Lupole got a pop up to second for the second out. The Bulldogs were able to tie the game when Sergio Diaz hit a high fly around the pitcher's mound that fell in on the right side of the mound for an infield single. Amato was running hard the whole way and scored from second as the ball fell in. The Monarchs got out of the inning on a caught stealing attempt.

King's was able to put the first two batters on base in the eighth but the Bulldogs got out of the inning on a line out, a strikeout, and a fly out. Nick White led off the bottom of the inning with a triple to right. He then scored the game-winning run two batters later on a suicide squeeze by Barebo.  

Hartson led the Monarchs with two hits, one run scored, and one RBI in game two. Pack and Rebar had a hit, RBI, and run scored each while Wilkins had a hit and scored a run. Hartson got a no-decision on the mound pitching 4.1 innings and allowing two runs on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Chris Lupole pitched 2.2 innings of relief allowing three runs, two earned, on seven hits and two walks with one strikeout.

Dan Hartson had four hits, two runs batted in, and scored a run on the day. Christian Pack added three hits and scored twice while Brad Wilkins and Chris Rebar had two hits and two runs scored each. Shawn Stone had one hit and knocked in three runs and Sean McKee had two hits, an RBI, and a run scored.

The Monarchs will be back in action on Monday when they host Clarks Summit University in a non-conference game at Lipo Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.