Scranton, PA – Feeding off an outstanding pitching performance by Alex Varaska in today's Region XIX Division II doubleheader against Raritan Valley Community College, the Lackawanna College baseball team swept the Lions to clinch no less than a third place seed in the upcoming Region XIX DII Baseball Tournament. The Falcons shutout Raritan 7-0 in game one and then outscored the Lions by an 8-7 score in the night-cap.
In game one, the Falcons scored seven runs on ten singles to claim the victory, however the real highlight of the contest was the pitching performance of Alex Varaksa. Varaksa shutout the Lions over seven innings on a solo hit, while striking out thirteen. That lone hit came in the seventh inning when Raritan's Eric Drzewiecki led off the inning with a grounder between the Falcons' first baseman Wady Tactuk and second baseman Isaac Samuel. Samuel made an all-out effort to make a play but was only able to knock the grounder and keep it just outside of the diamond.
Lackawanna's top hitters were Dustin Wilcox, with two singles and three runs scored in three at bats; Carlos Gomez, with two singles, a run scored and two runs batted in, in three plate appearances; and Samuel with two singles, a run scored and two RBIs in three trips to the plate.
In game two, both teams road a roller coaster of emotions as they saw their leads rise and fall during the course of the ball game. Raritan scored first with a run in the top of the first. Lackawanna quickly bounced back by scoring three in the first, two in the second and one in the third. Despite a run in the second, the Falcons held a 6-2 lead through the fourth, which at that time appeared to be all they need for the win. However the Lions had other ideas as they scored four in the fifth inning to tie the score and one in the top of the seventh to claim a 7-6 lead. In what proved to be a crazy bottom of the seventh that one run lead was not sufficient, as the Falcons scored two runs on one hit to claim their seventh conference win. Lackawanna led the inning off with a single by Connor Perry. Perry moved to second when Charlie Hessil reached first base on an error by Raritan in fielding a sacrifice bunt. However, It looked those that hit and the subsequent error were in vain as the next two hitters were put out. Then the craziness started, as Lackawanna scored twice without putting the ball in play. Perry stole third and Hessil stole second a double steal. During the play, an attempt was made on Perry, but that throw careened out into left field allowing the lead runner to score and the following runner to reach third. On the very next pitch the game came to an end on a "walk off wild pitch" which scored Hessil.
Winning pitcher was Tyler Fisch. Fisch entered the game in the sixth and pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out three.
Wady Tactuk and Zach Lopatka were the Falcons top batters. Tactuk had a single and two run homer, while Lopatka doubled and slammed a two run no doubt home run. Also having notable multi-hit days were Ethan Bowen and Carlos Gomes. Bowen singled twice, while Gomes singled and doubled. Dustin Wilcox also contributed a double.
Lackawanna plays again tomorrow when they host Central Penn in a home doubleheader. The first game is scheduled for a 1:00 PM start.