BASEBALL


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MAY 7, 2006

KING'S BASEBALL WINS FREEDOM CONFERENCE TITLE, EARNS NCAA NATIONAL TOURNEY BERTH

QUAKERTOWN -- Tournament most valuable player Caleb Calarco went 2-for-4 with a key two-run double and pitcher Rob Medlock overcame a scary mid-game injury to earn a gritty complete-game decision as the King's College baseball team won the Freedom Conference title with a 6-3 victory over six-time defending champion DeSales University Sunday at Quakertown Memorial Park.

With the win, second-seeded King's secured the program's first-ever NCAA Division III National Tournament bid by gaining the automatic bid awarded to the Freedom Conference champion. In the process, the Monarchs set a new school single-season record for victories as King's improved to 25-14 on the year.

Third-seeded DeSales, meanwhile, fell to 23-19 and lost all five games it played against King's this season, including a thrilling 15-inning 2-1 marathon during the opening round on Friday.

King's would take a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Medlock doubled down the right field line. Jeremy Faust then delivered an RBI single, the 100th base hit of his career, to centerfield to bring home Medlock.

In the fourth inning, however, the Monarchs nearly suffered a crushing blow. After Sorino singled to center, Medlock would attempt a sacrifice bunt. The throw to first by DeSales pitcher Jon Pallone was errant and in attempting to avoid a collision with Bulldog first-baseman Scott Matejicka, Medlock stepped awkwardly on the base and injured his ankle on the play.

After a near 20-minute delay in which Medlock was evaluated by medical personnel, the Monarch senior would have his ankle taped and resumed play. On the next play, Jeremy Faust would hit a soft grounder to second and Medlock courageously raced to the bag in attempt to break up the double play. Faust would beat the throw to first, allowing Sorino to score and give King's a 2-0 lead.

In the fifth, J.R. Graver would reach base on an error, then beat the throw to second on a bunt by Matt Livoy. After both runners would advance on a wild pitch, Calarco drilled a two-run double to left center to drive in two runs as King's lead grew to 4-0. Mike Venarchick would pad the Monarch lead when he launched a two-run home run over the 35-foot high scoreboard in left field to increase the lead to 6-0.

After winning six straight conference crowns, DeSales would not go quietly, however, and scored a pair of runs in the sixth. Derek Miller would single, before Matejicka would follow with a home run of his own to cut the Monarch lead to 6-2. The Bulldogs added a run in the seventh when Zach Hess singled and later scored on a base hit to centerfield by Miller as the Bulldogs closed to within 6-3.

Medlock, who would continue to limp throughout the remainder of the contest, retired the Bulldogs in order to end the eighth. In the ninth, DeSales would look to come back when Matt Connors led off with a single to center. Medlock would get Greg Treat on a fly ball to center for the first out of the inning. With Andrew Heard at the plate and the count full, DeSales would attempt a hit-and-run. Medlock would get Heard on a called third strike and Josh Faust's throw to second base gunned down Connors on a game-ending double play as King's players spilled onto the field to celebrate the team's first conference/divisional title since sharing the 1993 MAC Northeast title with FDU-Florham.

Calarco concluded an outstanding tournament as he hit .615 (8-13) with two doubles, three RBI, and scored two runs. He also pitched eight innings and earned the victory in King's second-round 6-5 win over Drew. Sorino was 2-for-4 with a run while Venarchick went 1-for-4 with a run and two RBI. Jeremy Faust also went 2-for-4 with two RBI and joined twin brother Josh with his 100th career base hit over the weekend. Josh who reached the 100-hit mark Saturday with a single against Drew, added a base hit Sunday against DeSales to equal Jeremy with 101 base hits each.

Medlock, meanwhile, proved to be an inspirational figure for King's as he courageously remained in the game for the Monarchs. Medlock, who doubled as the designated hitter during the game, was unable to relinquish his batting role without leaving the game permanently. Despite limping during his remaining at-bats and with each trip back to the mound, Medlock's tenacity kept the Monarchs at an emotional high for the remainder of the game, similar to that of fellow pitcher Paul Giovannoli, who was spectacular during a stirring 13-inning performance against DeSales on Friday.

Medlock scattered 11 hits and struck out six batters to earn the complete game victory and improve to 6-1 on the year.

DeSales was led by Miller who went 3-for-4, along with Matejicka who was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

King's will not await word on its NCAA Division III National Tournament destiny which is expected to be announced Monday. The NCAA Regionals are expected to begin either May 17 or May 18, depending on the number of teams assigned to each region.

It is believed the Monarchs will play at an NCAA regional event at Bear Stadium, Boyertown Pa


Pictured Top to Bottom:

Caleb Calarco receives his MVP award from Coach Jerry Greeley.
       Note Calarco/Greeley Photo Courtesy of DeSales Sports Information Office.

Senior pitcher/DH Rob Medlock.

Monarch Players Celebrate Championship

Seniors Tim Granquist, Rob Medlock, Nick Sorino, Gary Mazur, and Jeff Wells receive championship plaque during post-game awards.







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