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Magical run for IUP baseball ends in national DII semifinal against Angelo State

INDIANA, Pennsylvania – After advancing through the losers' bracket within one game of the national championship, IUP ran out of steam in a rematch of the NCAA DII College World Series on Friday afternoon, losing 7-3 to Angelo State.

It was the fourth game in as many days for a depleted IUP squad that set school records for wins (41) and games played (59). IUP pulled off a generational run in its first NCAA DII World Series appearance in program history, eliminating top-seeded Central Missouri and top-five-seeded Point Loma. This came after its first Super Regional appearance and championship in school history and first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1990.

The Crimson Hawks defeated defending national champion Angelo State on Thursday to face the Rams in the double-elimination tournament. IUP outscored Angelo State (44-20) in the game, but struggled with some inconsistent pitching and aggressive baserunning from the Rams.

IUP issued eight walks, hit five batters and made three errors on a long day against a tough opponent. Angelo State returns to the national championship for the second straight year, this time against second-seeded Tampa.

Zach Miller hit a two-run home run as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning while IUP emptied the bench. With his 40th career double in the ninth inning, Harrison Pontoli surpassed Hall of Famer Paul Bingham. It was the 224th hit of Pontoli's illustrious career, good for third-best all-time and a fitting end for the fifth-year star. He also finished the program on Friday with a bye just one walk shy of the program's career record (111).

Brady Court And David Kessler scored two goals each for the Hawks.

Without starter Nathan Mankoski available (injury), IUP entered the NCAA Super Regionals and DII World Series with a three-man starting rotation. Playing for the fourth straight day, the Crimson Hawks were forced to assemble pitching from a relatively inexperienced bullpen.

Sebastian Rosado-Guindin started in a bullpen game for the Crimson Hawks. With his punchout in the first inning, the IUP pitching staff set a new program record for strikeouts in a season (334).

Angelo State scored four runs on one hit in the second inning. ASU scored the first two runs of the game and loaded the bases without leaving the infield.

A throwing error started a rocky inning for IUP in the second, followed by a hit by pitch and a well-placed bunt. Two walks brought in the first runs of the game before ASU added two more runs on an error and a sacrifice fly.

Due to erratic pitching, the Crimson Hawks fell behind 5-0 after a walk with the bases full in the third inning. Ricardo Aponte began the fourth with a long single as IUP tried to regain some momentum. Two batters later, Yard scored with a single through the left side to cut the Hawks' deficit to 5-1.

After IUP beat Angelo State 5-1 in five innings, the team tried to build some offense in the fifth inning. With runners on the corners, Jonny Stacy worked his way out of the jam for Angelo State. Dane Samartino fought through two innings as a relief pitcher before Sandri House came to pitch with two outs in the fifth.

The Hawks struggled offensively and hit two balls into the outfield in the sixth inning. Robert Carfagno hit a ball into the right-center gap that was caught by Weston Valasek on a diving catch. Angelo State took advantage in the bottom of the sixth inning with a home run by Tripp Clark that flew 374 feet over the right-field wall for a 7-1 lead.

IUP had two leadoff hits in the seventh inning by Davin Landers And David Kesslerunable to complete a run home.

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