F&M pulls off dramatic win, gains title round
Local College Roundup
Franklin & Marshall overcame a two-run deficit in the top of the ninth and outlasted Gettysburg 5-4 in a dramatic 11-inning contest Saturday in the winner's bracket of the Centennial Conference baseball tournament.
With the win, F&M (22-17) sits in the driver's seat in today's championship round as Johns Hopkins, a 9-8 winner over Gettysburg, will need to defeat the Diplomats twice to capture the conference crown.
Trailing 3-1 heading into the top of the ninth, Rob Anderson and Aaron Gillette notched back-to-back singles to lead off the frame.
Avery Attinson's sacrifice trickled slowly down the third base line, nearly becoming an infield single, effectively moving Anderson and Gillette into scoring position.
Brian Erb singled to right scoring Anderson and Alex Vescera followed with a clutch two-run single that took a high hop over third baseman Nate Simon and bounced into left field.
With two outs and runners on first and second in the Bullet ninth, Tommy LeNoir singled to left center, plating Cory Karagjozi to send the game to extra innings.
The Diplomats loaded the bases in the eleventh on Vescera's one-out single and, with two outs, a walk to Matt Mezansky and Brett Poniros' hit-by-pitch.
Luke Lawrence's first pitch to Rob Anderson was in the dirt, bouncing past catcher Cam MacDonald and rolling all the way to the backstop, giving Vescera ample time to race home for what would prove to be the winning score.
Vescera (1-0) then closed out the win for F&M in the bottom of the 11th.
Saturday's victory also marked the 100th career coaching win for head coach Adam Taylor.
The Diplomats will host Hopkins at noon today in the championship round.
n After being denied at home Friday, Millersville entered the final doubleheader of the regular season needing one win at East Stroudsburg to claim the PSAC Eastern Division title.
The Marauders got two. Chris Murphy won for the 12th time this season and the Marauders held off a furious East Stroudsburg rally to win 3-2 in the opener.
Jim McDade produced, arguably, his best start of the season in the nightcap, helping the Marauders to a 6-3 win and the road sweep.
Under coach Jon Shehan the Marauders (36-14) have won the PSAC East in two of the last three seasons and in three of the six seasons.
The club opens its third consecutive PSAC Tournament Wednesday in Johnstown in the 6:30 p.m. game against No. 4 seed Slippery Rock. East Stroudsburg (29-16, 13-11 PSAC East) enters as a No. 3 seed.
Millersville is 5-2 in PSAC Tournament meetings Slippery Rock, winning the last five straight.
With the Marauders needing a win to clinch it was only natural that Murphy (12-1) delivered it.
His complete game was his school record eighth of the season and tied him with Brooks Rothschild for the single season innings pitched record (86.2). His 12 wins ties him for third in PSAC history, two behind the record.
Murphy threw five shutout innings, scattering eighth hits, striking out eight and walking none.
RBIs from Dan Johnson, Kurt Seiders and Tyler McDonald gave Murphy all the support he would need, although East Stroudsburg made the game more than interesting late.
McDade (3-4) was outstanding in game two, surrendering one run over the first five innings and working into the sixth, just the second time this season he lasted longer than five innings. Adam Zipko (Warwick) relieved for his seventh save.
n Cairn freshman Caleb Lang hit two long home runs to propel the Highlanders past Lancaster Bible, 16-13, in the NCCAA East Region final at Charger Field.
Lang stroked a three-run shot to left field in the third and followed with a two-run blast in his next at-bat in the fifth inning.
Down 8-2, the Chargers rallied late as they made it 8-7 in the fifth and then 14-13 in the eighth, but could not get over the hump as Cairn added two insurance runs in the top half of the ninth inning.
Matt Taliercio hit his 11th home run of the season for Lancaster Bible, a three-run shot in the bottom of the eighth.
LBC senior Frank DiFilippo (Manheim Township) went 3-for-6 in his final collegiate game as he drove in one run and scored two more.
Caleb Mayer (Living Word Academy) was 3-for-5 from the plate with four RBI and two runs scored as the Chargers ended the season with a 7-24 record.
Chad Hollinger (Conestoga Valley) was 2-for-5 with four runs scored for the Highlanders who improve to 9-30 on the year and will be the East Region representative in next week's NCCAA Division II World Series in Mason, Ohio.
Women's lacrosse: En route to winning their second-straight Commonwealth Conference championship, Saturday at Stevenson, Elizabethtown (12-6) took down the top two seeds -- nationally-ranked Messiah and Stevenson -- to earn the crown.
It is the second straight year that E-town won the championship on the road against a nationally-ranked opponent.
Leigh Flounlacker and Andrea Russo paced the Blue Jays with three goals each and Rachael Waldman made eight saves in goal.
n Sixth-ranked F&M defeated Haverford 15-7 in the Centennial Conference semifinals, earning a berth in the championship game opposite fifth-ranked Gettysburg.
The 1 p.m. faceoff at Gettysburg will mark the 10th time the two teams have faced off for the CC Crown. The Diplomats hold a slight 5-4 advantage.
Men's lacrosse: Second-ranked Dickinson became the first team to go undefeated in Centennial Conference action, defeating F&M 16-2 for the Conference Championship Saturday afternoon.
F&M fell to 11-6 this season, while the Red Devils improved their mark to 17-0 and
While Dickinson earned the CC's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, the Diplomats must wait and see if they can receive an at-large bid. The selection show will air this evening at 10 p.m. on NCAA.com.
Men's tennis: F&M's season came to a close Saturday, falling to Haverford 5-3 in the Centennial Conference semifinals.
The Diplomats finish at 11-9 while the Fords (11-6) advance to face off against Johns Hopkins today for the championship.
n Elizabethtown capped another unbeaten Commonwealth Conference season in style, blanking Messiah 5-0, for its third straight CC crown, Saturday afternoon at the Alumni Courts.
The Blue Jays will now await word on where they are headed in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The Saturday sweep marked the fourth time since the 2004-05 academic year that Elizabethtown has claimed the men's and women's team titles in the same season and coach Matt Helsel, who was rewarded with his 10th league title overall.
The NCAA selection committee will announce the 2013 Division III Tournament field Monday at 7 p.m. in a press release on NCAA.com.
Women's tennis: Elizabethtown clinched its fourth straight Commonwealth Conference title, besting Lebanon Valley 5-1.
It was the sixth straight CC final matching the two schools and the Lady Jays (16-3) extended their mastery to four straight titles. LVC ends its season at 12-7.
Men's track and field: Vincent Acosta captured gold in the discus to highlight Franklin & Marshall's performance during the second day of the Centennial Conference Championships at Ursinus. The Diplomats are in sixth place with 19 points after the first two days.
Acosta threw the discus 137 feet 9 inches to edge Gettysburg's Andrew Morris (135 feet) for the title, giving the men's squad their first gold of the 2013 championships.
The championships conclude today.
Women's track and field: For the first time in program history, Elizabethtown won the Outdoor Middle Atlantic Conference team championship with 175 points, besting 10 other schools competing.
E-town finished the three-day championships with 15 medals, including eight gold.
The Blue Jays capped off their title with a school record in the 1,600 meter relay, taking the silver. The team of Alyssa Aichele, Rachel Carr, Katy Fogel and Ashley Lockwood ran 3:56.79, breaking the 2006 mark of 3:57.64.
Jenna Niedermayer was named the MAC Women's Field Athlete of the Year for her finishes in the high jump (fourth), long jump (first) and triple jump (first).
n Martha Stefaniak placed second in the discus to lead Franklin & Marshall in the second day of competition at the Centennial Conference Championships at Ursinus. The Diplomats currently sit in sixth place with 26 points.
Stefaniak registered a throw of 120 feet 9 inches to grab silver in the discus and add eight points to the Diplomats' total.
Samantha Greenberg wrapped up the final three events of the heptathlon, taking sixth place to earn three points for F&M.
The Diplomats conclude competition today, beginning with the javelin at 11 a.m.