Chris Sweeney touches home plate after earning his 200th hit. Photo Credit: King's College Athletics
Chris Sweeney touches home plate after earning his 200th hit. Photo Credit: King’s College Athletics

Monarch baseball has returned to its slumping ways as it resumed conference play over the weekend. It began by losing two out of three in a series against Eastern University. King’s then returned to Wilkes-Barre and crossed the bridge to take on rival Wilkes for a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. The games were a make up from a snow out earlier this season. The Monarchs dropped both games against the Colonels losing the first game 11-7 and the second game 10-9 in eight innings. King’s falls to 13-9 after the weekend’s results and 4-8 in conference play.

The one bright spot that can be taken from Sunday’s sweep was standout senior Chris Sweeney becoming just the second player in King’s baseball history to reach the 200-hit mark. Sweeney accomplished the milestone by drilling a two-run home run in the top of the third inning of game one. He joins Jon Venarchick as the only two players in school history with 200 career hits. Sweeney ended the day with three hits combined from both games and stands at 202. He will need 26 hits over the Monarchs final 13 games to break the school record that Venarchick holds at 227.

King’s fell behind 8-0 in game one before Sweeney’s milestone homer made it 8-2. Wilkes added three in the bottom of the third to open the lead to 11-2. The Monarchs got back in the game with a four-run sixth inning but never game closer.

Sweeney finished the game 2-for-4 with the home run, a double, four RBI, and two runs scored. Senior Jared Turner also went 2-for-4 in game one with an RBI while sophomore Anthony Lizzi also had a 2-for-4 outing.

Senior Anthony Snagirardi took the loss on the mound. Sangirardi allowed eight runs in just one inning of work. Brandon Carling picked up his first victory of the season for the Colonels. Carling went five innings allowing six hits, three runs, and four walks.

The nightcap was a wild one as King’s built a 2-0 lead after the first inning thanks to RBI’s from Lizzi and senior Eric Boehm. The Colonels fought back to tie the game at two with runs in the bottom of the first and third innings. Both teams scored a run in the fourth to make it 3-3. The Monarchs added two in the fifth and three in the sixth. In the fifth inning, Boehm reached base after a costly Wilkes error before junior Anthony Re drove him home with an RBI double. Re then scored himself on an RBI single from fellow junior Tim Zaccone.

The five-run sixth inning was keyed by a leadoff home run from Sweeney, his ninth of the year and a two-run single by Turner. The Colonels had an answer, however, as they scored five runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at eight and send the game to extra innings.

The Monarchs regained the lead after a base hit by senior Tim Marchetti scored first-year pinch-runner Kris Carr. However, the Colonels once again had an answer as they loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame. RBI singles from Shawn Ruch and Joe Dantas were the difference as the Monarchs lost a heartbreaker.

Lizzi led the Monarchs offensively going 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Senior Rob Lemoncelli and Marchetti were both 2-for-5 with an RBI a piece. While senior Brian Mikus also finished 2-for-5 with a run scored.

Senior Joe Dorbad was charged with his fourth loss of the season in relief. Dorbad allowed one run and three hits in just two-thirds of an inning. Marc Perry picked up the victory in relief for Wilkes.

The Monarchs are off until Thursday as they will return home for a nonconference affair with Penn College of Technology beginning at 4 p.m.

As the season begins to wind down here are the complete Freedom Conference standings through this weekend’s action and where the Monarchs sit in hopes to make the Freedom Conference tournament.

  1. DeSales 18-7 overall, 10-2 conference
  2. Farleigh Dickinson-Florham 7-2 overall, 7-2 conference
  3. Misericordia 17-6 overall, 7-2 conference
  4. Wilkes 13-9 overall, 5-7 conference
  5. Manhattanville 8-17 overall, 5-7 conference
  6. King’s 13-9 overall, 4-8 conference
  7. Eastern 9-11 overall, 4-8 conference
  8. Delaware Valley 12-13 overall, 3-9 conference

The Monarchs have 13 games left overall but nine of them will be against conference foes. In order to qualify for the Freedom Conference tournament the Monarchs must finish in the top four of the standings. The fact that Wilkes swept the season series from King’s could hurt the Monarchs in the long run. The Monarchs will play a crucial three-game series this weekend with Mahattanville, visiting Purchase, NY for a doubleheader on Saturday before returning to Lipo Field for a single game on Sunday. King’s also has series remaining against the top two teams in the conference, Farleigh Dickinson-Florham and DeSales to close the regular season. While the schedule makers did not do King’s any favors, the Monarchs have hurt themselves losing five out of six games this season against Eastern and Wilkes.