W&J claims an 8-3 victory over Misericordia in game one of NCAA Super Regionals

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DALLAS, Pa. -- A five-run eighth inning broke open a late game tie as the Washington & Jefferson College baseball team earned an 8-3 victory over Misericordia University in game one of the NCAA Division III South Super Regional Championship series at Tambur Field in Dallas, Pa. 
The win is the eighth straight overall for the Presidents, who improve to 36-11 overall. With the loss, the Cougars fall to 35-12 in 2019. 
After a scoreless first inning, the Presidents got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second inning. James Artale (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) opened the frame with a leadoff single to right field before moving to third base on a one-out double by Joey Bolick (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland). Spencer Howell then did his job by bringing home Artale with a sacrifice fly to right field to give W&J a 1-0 lead. 
The Presidents added on to their advantage with two runs on four hits in the bottom of the third inning. Shayne Erny(North Ridgeville, Ohio/St. Edward) sent the first pitch of the frame back up the middle for a leadoff single. After a strikeout, Mullen Socha (Independence, Ohio/St. Ignatius) doubled down the left field line to put a pair of runners into scoring position. 
Josh Crummer (Great Falls, Va./Flint Hill School) and Artale drilled back-to-back RBI singles to push the W&J lead to 3-0. 
In the top of the fifth inning, Misericordia broke through offensively by tallying two runs on three hits to cut the Presidents lead to a single run at 3-2. The host Cougars then opened the sixth inning with three straight hits, including a pair of doubles to tie the game. A successful relay from right field, which included a strike to the plate by shortstop Spencer Howell (Oakwood, Ohio/Oakwood) allowed W&J to keep the game even at 3-3.
Mitchell Taufer (Washington, Pa./Bishop Canevin) tossed scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth to preserve the 3-3 tie entering the bottom of the eighth. At that time, the Cougars brought on First Team All-Region pitcher Kyle Melahn. 
The senior opened the eighth by hitting three consecutive Presidents with pitches to load the bases. An error then allowed Artale to race home to give W&J a 4-3 lead. After Misericordia recorded a force out at the plate, a wild pitch scored Bolick to make the score 5-3. With first base open and two outs, Misericorida elected to intentionally walk Dante Dalesandro (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) to load the bases. 
Socha then came through with the biggest hit of the day, a bases clearing double to center field that gave the Presidents a more comfortable 8-3 advantage entering the ninth inning. Taufer registered the final three outs to secure the game one victory.

Offensively, Socha and Artale paced a nine-hit attack for W&J with two hits each. 
Ben Marsico (Bradford Woods, Pa./North Allegheny) started and worked 5.1 innings. The junior right hander allowed three runs on seven hits in the outing. Ian McCole, the starter for Misericordia allowed three earned runs on eight hits in 7.0 innings. Marsico and McCole both entered Friday's game ranked in a tie for fourth place in Division III in victories (11). 
Michael Zito (Nashville, Tenn./Hume-Fogg) retired a pair of Cougar hitters out of the bullpen to finish the sixth inning. Taufer worked the final three innings to pick up the victory. The senior allowed just one hit and struck out three as he improved to 3-0.  
Game two and a potential if-necessary game three will take place on Saturday, May 25, at Tambur Field. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. The if-necessary game three would take place around 40 minutes following the conclusion of game two.