West Windsor, NJ – The Lackawanna College Baseball team split its two games on the opening day of the Region XIX Division II Baseball Tournament. In the opening contest, the Falcons beat Sussex County Community College 8-2 on a 3 hit 3 RBI batting performance by DJ Berry-Staszak and a 7 hit 2 run joint pitching effort by Joey Baran and Steve Boscia.. In the second game of the day, Lackawanna was outscored 7-5 by Mercer County Community College, as the Vikings scored 5 unearned runs in the 7th inning and two earned runs in the 9th to overcome the Falcons' 5 run lead.
In game one, Sussex took the initial lead in the 1st inning with one run. Lackawanna erased that 1-0 lead in the 3rd when Berry -Staszak doubled in his first RBI of the game. The game remain tied at 1-1 until the 5th when the Falcons scored 4 runs on RBI singles by Colin Weinert and Ryan Cole, an RBI double by Thylar Summarell and CJ Lopez's sacrifice fly. In the top of the 6th, the Skylanders scored another run, which Lackawanna answered three fold in the bottom of the frame. In that inning, Berry-Staszak drove in two more runs with another double while Kelani Luke added another score with an RBI single. Those runs finished the scoring for the contest as the Falcons claimed their 8-2 victory.
Lackawanna batters combined for 12 hits with five Falcons contributing multi-hit games. Berry Staszak led that group with a single, 2 doubles, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI's in 4 at bats. The remaining members of that multi-hit group were Kelani Luke, Colin Weinert, Thylar Summarell and Ryan Cole. Luke singled twice in three plate appearances; Weinert also singled twice in five at bats, while Summarell singled and doubled in his five visits to the dish. All three of those hitters also scored once and drove in a run. Ryan Cole who drove in a run on two singles in four at bats added the last two hit performance. The only batter with a solo hit, Zac Granger, doubled in the 7th.
Both Joey Baran, who earned the win, and Steve Boscia, who was credited with a 4 inning save, combined for an impressive pitching effort. Baran hurled five complete innings, giving up a solo run on three hits while striking out six. In relief, Boscia finished the final four innings, relinquishing a solidary run on four hits while striking out five.
In their second game against Mercer, Lackawanna scored first on a hit by pitch, an error, stolen base and DJ Berry Staszak sacrifice fly. They added four more runs in the 3rd on a 2 RBI double by Berry Stazak, a sacrifice fly by Kelani Luke and a fielder's choice RBI by Colin Weinert. The Falcons held that 5-0 lead until the top of the 7th, when Mercer tied the game with a grand slam and solo home run after a Lackawanna error extended the inning. In the 9th, Mercer produced their only earned runs of the game on a two run homer. It gave the Vikings a 7-5 lead which the Falcons could not overcome.
In the loss, the Falcon hitters totaled nine hits with Chris Skermo and Zac Granger contributing the only multi-hit games. Skermo singled twice and scored once in four at bats, while Granger scored once on two singles and double in his four plate appearances.
Kelani Luke suffered the loss after giving up Mercer's two runs in the 9th.
Lackawnna plays again tomorrow in the 10:00 AM elimination game against Sussex County Community College. The winner of tomorrow's game will play Mercer in the championship round latter in the day.