GRANTHAM, Pa. – Messiah College scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to walk off with a 5-4 MAC Commonwealth baseball victory over Stevenson University Friday afternoon at Starry Athletic Complex.
Messiah (17-16, 10-6 MAC Commonwealth) entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 4-2 and was down to its final out as Stevenson (16-18, 7-9 MAC Commonwealth) senior starter Alec Romanowski got the first two Falcons to fly out. Back-to-back singles by Ben Sollenberger and Adam Janney brought the winning run to the plate.
Romanowski got Joseph Saufley to strike out swinging, but the ball got away on a wild pitch allowing Saufley to reach and load the bases. Kyle Schoen singled to right to tie the game, with Saufley advancing to third. Senior Trevor Fitzsimmons relieved Romanowski, but gave up a walkoff double to Ryan Adamus.
The Falcons took a 1-0 lead in the first before Stevenson took a 2-1 lead with a pair in the fourth. Senior Craig Joseph led off with a single and eventually scored on an error by the Messiah catcher. Sophomore Jake Hall, who reached when he was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on the error, scored when senior Matt Myers grounded to third. The third baseman went home but Hall beat the play.
The lead was short-lived as Messiah scored in the bottom half of the fourth to tie the game 2-2. Hall scored again in the sixth to give Stevenson the lead when he singled, moved to second on an attempted double steal in which lead runner senior Kevin Kopas was caught at third, stole third, and came home on a single by Nick Peifer. The Mustangs made it 4-2 in the top of the ninth as a sac fly by sophomore John D'Aquanno scored Peifer, who led off with a single.
Romanowski took the loss, scattering 10 hits in 8.2 innings while striking out three and not issuing a walk. Joseph and Peifer each had two hits as the Mustangs were outhit 11-10. Eight of Stevenson's nine starters had at least one hit on the afternoon.
Stevenson and Messiah play a MAC Commonwealth doubleheader at Stevenson's Sugar Field starting at 1:00 Saturday. Between games, the Mustangs will honor 13 seniors on Senior Day.