Lackawanna Advances in Winner’s Bracket of Region Tournament

Georgetown, DE: Down 5-4 going into the top of the seventh inning, the Lackawanna College bats came alive, as they scored 8 runs in that frame to take a 12-5 lead, and eventual win, over Mercer County Community College. The win moves the Falcons into the championship round of the Region XIX Division II Tournament. Lackawanna need only win one of two games to claim the title. Their opponent in that round will be the winner of tomorrow morning's game between Mercer County Community College and County College of Morris. The first game of the title round will be played tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 pm.

Today's contest was a nip and tuck battle through the first six innings. In the bottom of the second Mercer started the scoring with a solo run. In the top of the third, the Falcons responded as Bernard Brito led off with a base on ball. He moved to second on another walk issued to Arbely Soto and then scored on an Eric Grabowski single. On the same base hit Soto moved to third and then scored the go ahead run on a passed ball.

Mercer again took the lead when they scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth, only one which was earned. The Falcons started to nibble back in the fifth with a run on three consecutive singles by Joe Spitareli, Soto and Grabowski. The Falcons gave back that run in the bottom of the fifth, but did score another run in the sixth when Jason Barton walked, moved to third on a Sjaghbar Martis single and then scored on an another passed ball.

In the seventh, the Falcons' offense exploded. Spitarleri reached on a single and advance to second on an errant throw. Soto followed with a single moving Spitaleri to third. Grabowski then drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly to center.  Rasheed Noble walked, which was then followed by a Jason Barton single which scored Soto with the go ahead run; and moved Noble to third. With runners on first and third, Martis walked to load the bases for Kenny Guichardo. Guichardo promptly singled to drive in Noble and move everyone else up another base. After securing their second out of the inning, Mercer issued Brito a base on balls which scored Barton and kept the bases loaded. Spitarelli followed with his second hit of the inning, a triple that cleared the bases and gave Lackawanna a six run lead. The scoring concluded when Soto singled, for his second time in the seventh, to drive in Spitaleri with the final run of the game.

Lackawanna starter, Anthony Hunter, earned the win. Hunter went six full inning yielding five runs, three of which were earned, on eight hits. He struck out 4.  Phil Stokes pitched the final three innings in relief of Hunter. During those innings, he held Mercer scoreless and hitless. Stokes struck out two.

Four Falcon hitters contributed impressive offensive performances. Spitaleri went three for five with two singles, a triple, three runs scored and three runs driven in. Soto had three singles in four at bats, scoring twice and contributing an RBI. Grabowski also had a three for four day with three singles; he did not score but did drive in three runs. Finally Barton scored two runs and drive in another, as he contributed a two single game in three plate appearance.