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La Roche, Penn St. Behrend to Square Off Saturday For Baseball Championship, NCAA Automatic Bid

La Roche, Penn St. Behrend to Square Off Saturday For Baseball Championship, NCAA Automatic Bid

It will be #1 La Roche College (34-9) and #3 Penn St. Behrend (29-14) in the championship game of the AMCC baseball tournament Saturday.  First pitch is scheduled for 10am.

The two teams boast a total of eight titles beween them, Behrend with five and La Roche with three.

Friday started with a surprising pairing: top seed and two-time defending champion La Roche vs. #2 Pitt-Greensburg.  Both squads were upset in Thursday's play, forcing the premature meeting in the first elimination game of the double round robin tournament.  The Redhawks' ace Tanner Wiltbent but didn't break in the early going, allowing 3 hits but no runs, enabing his team time to get their high octane offense in gear.  He ended up going the distance, fanning 9 in the 13-0 victory and his eighth win of the season. La Roche put up runs in the third (2), sixth (1) and seventh (10) innings while keeping the Bobcats off the board.  Junior OF Luis Navedo went 4-for-5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI, and Senior SS Colin Williams went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI and 3 runs scored.

The second match-up of the day featured #3 Penn St. Behrend against #4 Mount Aloysius College.  The Mounties struck first, putting two across in the top of the second.  Behrend responded with a steady stream of runners across the plate, including four in the 6th inning and three in the 8th, to build an insurmountable 9-2 advantage.  The Lions' got standout performances at the plate from senior RF John Hlavinka (3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI) and senior CF Matt Wolczko (2 for 4, 2 runs, 1 RBI).  For the second game in a row the winning starting pitcher threw a complete game.  Behrend junior Justin Rohrer raised his record to 6-2, scattering four hits and sitting down 3 batters in the win.  The Mounties' junior OF Dylan Oswalt stepped up for his team, going 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

The final contest was a do-or-die tilt between La Roche and Mount Aloysius.  The Mounties upset the Redhawks on Thursday in an extra-inning thriller, but the Redhawks were fuelled by a decisive dismissal of Pitt-Greensburg while Mount Aloysius was still recovering from their loss to Behrend.  La Roche took no chances, jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning and never looking back.  They scored in six of eight innings en route to a convincing 17-2 win.  Junior RF Corey Lazor and junior 1B Ben Herstineput up impressive stats, with each recording 4 RBI and 2 runs scored.  Sophomore Regis Sauer threw eight innings and struck out six to keep his season record perfect at 8-0.  Mounties' senior RF Connor Bowie concluded his standout career with an RBI and a .500 day at the plate.