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May 30—It was a crazy end.

Unfortunately for Keystone College, it was still just that. The end of another successful season.

After a wild victory celebration by the Merchant Marine Academy, umpires reversed a balk call that would have cost Keystone the game. But the Mariners earned themselves another celebration one pitch later, when Tyler Reistetter lifted a sacrifice fly to left that brought home the winning run in a 7-6 triumph that eliminated the Giants from the NCAA Division III Auburn, N.Y., Regional at Falcon Park.

Keystone went into the bottom of the eighth inning with a 6-0 lead and seemed primed for run today toward the NCAA Division III World Series. But a furious rally by the Merchant Marine Academy ended it, first in a confusing instant, then with much more clarity.

Earlier in the day, Keystone fell to red-hot Tufts, 7-2.

It was a difficult day for area teams in their respective national tournaments. The University of Scranton was eliminated from the Collegeville, Minn., Regional, ending its first trip to the round with an 11-4 loss to defending national champion Chapman University. Meanwhile, in their first game in the NJCAA Division II World Series in Enid, Okla., Lackawanna College was held to just three hits in a 7-0 loss to Patrick Henry Community College.

Meanwhile, Misericordia University stayed alive in the NCAA Division III regional at St. Paul, Minn. with an 11-4 win over Johns Hopkins.

Giants fall

Keystone (22-6) built a 6-0 lead after 7 1/2 innings behind some timely offense and a sterling pitching effort by freshman right-hander Julian Gonzalez, who allowed just two hits entering the pivotal bottom of the eighth.

But, junior Zac Skov’s bases-clearing triple made Gonzalez pay for a walk and a hit batter. It cut the lead in half, and another run tacked on got Merchant Marine Academy to within 6-4, setting up a wacky ninth inning.

Right-hander Nick Gravel entered the game with a two-run lead in the ninth, but the Mariners quickly loaded the bases with two singles sandwiched around a walk. Jack Millen then singled to right, bringing home the tying runs.

Skov was walked intentionally with one out to load the bases, but two pitches later, home plate umpire Peter Lakkis called timeout, pointed toward Gravel, and conferred with base umpires before deciding to call a balk that sent the winning run home. The call set off a wild celebration in front of the Merchant Marine dugout, and sent the Giants into a state of disbelief.

Ultimately, umpires conferred again and elected to overturn the call, bringing both teams back onto the field for what turned into a more decisive end, with Reistetter driving the first pitch he saw from Gravel deep enough to left to score Brayden O’Connell with the winning run.

Julio Acosta and Abington Heights grad Nick Carlini had two hits apiece for Keystone, while Honesdale grad Adam Kelly and Mid Valley star R.J. Gouldsbury both knocked in runs.

Royals sent home

Chapman scored four runs in the eighth inning to hold off the pesky Royals (20-11), who were competing in the Regionals for the first time.

Center fielder Connor Harding had three of Scranton’s 10 hits, and he knocked in a run that got them to within 6-4 at the seventh-inning stretch. But Harding was thrown out at the plate on a bang-bang play after Justin Pinckney was thrown out at first on a one-out comebacker to Chapman (14-5) pitcher Wyatt Thompson. First baseman Mack Cheli’s throw home was deemed to be in time to beat Harding coming home on the throw.

Pinckney launched a two-run home run in the fifth for the Royals, who got 2 1/3 strong innings of relief from Pittston Area grad Hunter Ralston to keep the game close.

Misericordia stays alive

Austin Miles had four hits and Joe Liscio had three hits, including a three-run homer. Wallenpaupack graduate Derrick Vosburg added two hits for the Cougars.

Tom Jacob allowed just one earned run over 5.1 innings and Tyler Leonard worked three innings to pick up the win.

The Cougars (30-9) face the winner of Trinity (Texas)/Aurora in an elimination game today at 3:30 p.m.

Falcons against the wall

Patrick Henry broke the game open with five runs in the sixth inning to upend the Falcons (30-14).

Pitcher Zack Klapak, a Delaware Valley grad, allowed five earned runs on seven hits in five innings, striking out two. Abington Heights grad Nick Termini threw 1 2/3 shutout innings of relief behind him.

One of Lackawanna’s three hits was a Quinn Hanafin double.

The 10th-seeded Falcons will try to stave off elimination at 11 a.m. today when they face No. 6 seed Kirkwood Community College.

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