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MAY 6, 2006


QUAKERTOWN -- Mike Venarchick (pictured) went 4-for-4 with two RBI, including a critical solo home run as the King's College baseball team reached the Freedom Conference title game with a 6-5 victory over Drew University Saturday at Quakertown Memorial Park.

With the win, second-seeded King's (24-14) will play for the Freedom Conference championship and an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III National Tournament on Sunday at 12:00 noon. 

The Monarchs will face six-time defending champion DeSales in the title game. DeSales, the third-seeded, defeated fourth-seeded Drew 13-5 in an elimination game Saturday night. The Freedom Conference Tournament is a double-elimination event and the DeSales will have to defeat the Monarchs twice on Sunday to win the conference crown as the Monarchs are 2-1 in tournament action while DeSales is 2-1. King's defeated the Bulldogs 2-1 in a 15-inning marathon Friday night.

King's pushed across the game's first runs in the bottom of the first inning when Caleb Calarco singled and Matt Livoy walked. Mike Venarchick then delivered an RBI single to center to get the Monarchs on the board. Nick Sorino then stroked a single up the middle to give King's a 2-0 lead.

The Monarchs added another run in the fourth when Mike Venarchick doubled and later scored on a single by Jeremy Faust to up the lead to 3-0.

Drew would score in the Matt Hicks singled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Joe Henrickson.

King's would tack on a run in the sixth when Venarchick led off the inning by drilling an opposite field home run over the right field fence to give the Monarchs a 4-1 advantage.

The Rangers would counter with two runs in the seventh to cut the King's lead to 4-3 thanks to another sacrifice fly by Henrickson and a Monarch throwing error.

But King's again answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the seventh when Jon Venarchick reached base on a two-out error and scored on a double by Calarco. Livoy then followed with a clutch base hit to right field to plate Calarco and give King's a 6-3 lead.

Drew would attempt to rally in the ninth when Hicks singled and scored from third on a fielder's choice. Tom Carracciolo followed with a run-scoring single to cut the lead to 6-5. With one out and a runner on second, Monarch relief pitcher Tim Granquist struck out John Minio. The game would end when Matt Vickers lofted a long fly ball to right field where Livoy made a fine running catch on the warning track for the final out of the game.

The pounded out 11 hits in the game, compared to 12 for Drew. Calarco joined Mike Venarchick as the top hitters by going 2-for-3 with an RBI and scored two runs. Five other Monarchs contributed with one hit each, including Josh Faust, who registered his 100th career base hit, while twin brother Jeremy added the 99th of his career.

Calarco earned the pitching win for King's, throwing eight innings and allowing four runs, three which were earned. Granquist picked up the save, allowing one run on two hits in pitching the ninth inning.

Should King's fall to to DeSales in the 12:00 p.m. title game, the teams would play a deciding game at 4:00 p.m. with the winner capturing the Freedom Conference title.

King's College
133 North River Street  Wilkes-Barre, PA  18711
1 (888) KINGS PA

Questions or comments to:  Bob Ziadie, King's College Sports Information Director
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