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MAY 17, 2006


Editorial Note:  On May 30, Marietta College won the 2006 NCAA Division III National Championship, going unbeaten at the College World Series in Wisconsin.

TERRE HAUTE, IN -- Third-seeded Marietta College pushed across five runs in the third inning, then added three more in the fourth as the Pioneers posted a 11-2 victory over sixth-seeded King’s College in the opening round of the NCAA Division III National Tournament Mid-East Regional Wednesday at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Ind.


With the win, Marietta improved to 36-10 on the year while the Monarchs fell to 25-15. The game began with a 20-minute delay as a sudden hail storm dropped marble-size ice pellets on the field for nearly 10 minutes. Terre Haute has endured extremely wet conditions with 10 straight days of rain.


Marietta would push across the game’s first run in the bottom half of the first inning when Tony Piconke and Jarrod Klausman would draw back-to-back walks. Justin Steranka would then deliver a one-out RBI single to left field to get the Pioneers on the board.

In the third inning, Marietta would break through with five runs. Piconke would reach base on a leadoff error by the Monarchs. Klausman would then follow with a single up the middle before Steranka’s added an infield single to load the bases with no outs. Joe Litke then came through with an RBI single to right field to give the Pioneers a 2-0 lead. Ryan Belanger would deliver a three-run triple, and then scored on a single up the middle by Lee Guerrera to push the score to 6-0. Hendricks.


Piconke would lead off the bottom of the fourth with an infield single and two batters later Steranka delivered a two-run home run to right center to give the Pioneers a 8-0 lead. Litke would then draw a walk and Beebe followed with a single to left. Belanger would reach base on a King’s error, allowing Litke to score, upping the lead to 9-0.

King’s would finally reach the scoreboard in the seventh when Mike Venarchick belted a solo home run over the right centerfield fence to cut the lead to 9-1. Venarchick’s round-tripper holds the distinction of being the Monarchs’ first-ever home run in NCAA tournament history.


After Marietta added a run in the bottom half of the seventh, King’s would score again in the eighth when Budzyn singled and later touched home on a single by Caleb Calarco to cut the lead to 10-2.


The Pioneers would close out the scoring with another run in the eighth to bring the final margin of victory to 11-2.


The Monarchs had early scoring chances in the contest but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities.


In the first inning, Jon Venarchick led off the game with a single to right field. Caleb Calarco, however, would hit into a double play to clear the bases and Jeremy Faust would then ground out to end the inning.


King’s would then threaten in the second when Nick Sorino drilled a one-out double to right centerfield, but Marietta pitcher Mike Eisenberg would strike out Matt Livoy and Josh Faust to thwart the Monarch scoring chance.


The Monarchs would miss out on another scoring opportunity in the fourth when Calarco was hit by a pitch and Jeremy Faust drew a walk to lead off the inning. But Mike Venarchick grounded into a double play, allowing Calarco advanced to third. Sorino then lined out to shortstop to end the inning.


King’s starting pitcher Paul Giovannoli took the loss for the Monarchs, allowing nine runs, six that were earned, on 11 base hits in four innings. Tim Granquist pitched three innings of relief allowing one run on one hit, while John McNichol threw one inning, yielding one run on three hits.

Budzyn led King’s six-hit outing with a pair of singles as the Monarchs managed six base hits. Eisenberg, a 6-foot-7 junior, improved his pitching mark to 11-1 on the year for Marietta, throwing five innings and allowing three base hits while striking out three batters, upping his season total to 109 strikeouts in 91 innings.
Eisenberg entered the game with an impressive 1.29 ERA.

Marietta totaled 15 base hits, led by Steranka who was a 4-for-5 with three RBI while Klausman, Litke, and Beebe added two hits each.


King’s will play second-seeded Otterbein College Thursday at 9:30 p.m. in the second game of the double-elimination event. Otterbein dropped a 7-3 verdict to seventh-seeded Elizabethtown in its opening contest.


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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