APRIL 21, 2018
MONARCH BASEBALL RUN WIN STREAK TO EIGHT WITH SWEEP OF EASTERN
WILKES-BARRE, PA --- The King's College baseball team used two dominant pitching performances by John Wickiser and Dan Hartson to sweep Eastern University at Lipo Field on Saturday afternoon in Wilkes-Barre. The Monarchs won the opener 1-0 before taking the nightcap by a 2-0 score.
King's increased their win streak to eight games and improved to 16-13 overall and 9-8 in conference play with the wins. Eastern fell to 12-18 overall and 4-12 in the conference.
Wickiser was sharp from the beginning of the game as he got the first two Eagles batters out on six pitches. Kyle Daddario fouled off a couple pitches before hitting a single to left but Wickiser got a grounder to second to get out of the inning.
The Monarchs recorded all the offense they would need in the first inning. Christian Pack knocked a 1-2 pitch back up the middle that went off the Eagle pitcher for a hit. Two batters later he stole second on the first pitch to Kyle Lupas. Lupas singled through the left side to give the Monarchs the only run they would need. Shawn Stone hit an infield single to third before the Eagles were able to get out of the inning.
The one run was all the Monarchs would need as Wickiser was fantastic on the mound. The Eagles had two singles in the second and a leadoff double in the fourth but each time Wickiser didn't allow a runner past second base. Timmy Gorton led off the sixth with an infield single to third but once again he was stranded on the base paths as the Monarchs got out of the inning.
In total Wickiser struck out two batters, did not walk anyone, and recorded 10 ground ball outs and nine fly outs. Only two runners advanced to second with none getting past second base. He was very effective facing 26 batters and throwing just 77 pitches for the complete game shutout.
Tyler Bennett was nearly as effective on the hill for the Eagles allowing one run on three hits in six innings of work. He struck out two and did not walk a batter.
The Monarchs received another great pitching performance in the nightcap by Dan Hartson. The junior got into some trouble in the first inning with a two-out walk and single up the middle. He got out of the inning without throwing another pitch as he picked off Daddario at second base.
In the bottom of the inning, the Monarchs put runners at first and second after a walk to Chris Rebar but the Eagles got a strikeout and a popup to second to get out of the inning. King's broke through with their first run of the game in the third inning. Brad Wilkins and Pack hit back-to-back singles before Lupas recorded his second RBI single of the day to score Pack with two outs. The Monarchs added an insurance run in the fourth with two outs when Sean McKee singled through the left side, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then scored on a single that just got through the infield by Wilkins.
The Eagles threatened to score in the seventh with back-to-back walks with one out. However, the Monarchs brought in Chris Lupole who got two fly balls to right to end the game.
Hartson recorded his second win of the year with a strong 6.1 innings pitched. He allowed four hits and four walks with six strikeouts. Chris Lupole picked up his second save of the year recording the final two outs on just six pitches.
Kyle Lupas led the Monarchs on the day with two hits and two RBI. Brad Wilkins also had two hits on the day and knocked in a run while scoring one. Christian Pack also had two hits and scored a run.
The Monarchs will return to action tomorrow when they travel to Purchase, N.Y. for a big matchup against Manhattanville College beginning at 2:00 p.m. The Monarchs and Valiants will wrap up their season series after splitting a doubleheader back in March to open conference play. With King's sweep of Eastern and Misericordia's sweep of Manhattanville this weekend, the Monarchs moved ahead of the Valiants for the fourth spot in the conference standings. King's currently holds a game lead over Manhattanville but has played two more games.