MADISON, N.J. – It came down to the very final inning to determine a winner in Sunday’s Landmark Conference baseball game between Susquehanna and Drew and unfortunately for the Crusaders, a walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth resulted in a 5-4 loss.
The game was tied 4-4 heading into the final inning of regulation but two SU pitchers could not keep the game-winning run from scoring, resulting in the Crusaders’ (13-18, 2-10) third-straight one-run loss to the Rangers this weekend.
Susquehanna did out-hit Drew (16-13, 7-5) on the afternoon with 12 hits to the Rangers’ eight. Kyle Semmel led the way with a three-hit, two-RBI performance, while Ethan Rieker (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Twp.) and Mike Rucereto (Washingtown Twp., N.J./Bergen Catholic) collected two hits apiece.
Matt Boyd (Camp Hill, Pa./Camp Hill) got the starting nod for SU and went 5.1 innings with just one of the four runs charged against him earned as the four Crusader errors proved costly. Matt Lottes (Muttontown, N.Y./Long Island Lutheran) tossed 2.1 innings of one-hit, no-run ball before Drew broke through against Nick Torkildsen (Milford, Pa./Delaware Valley HS) and Matt Smith (Blue Ridge Summit, Pa./Wyoming Seminary) for the game-winning run in the ninth.
SU managed two runs in the second thanks to Semmel’s RBI triple and Rucereto’s single up the middle that plated Semmel for a 2-0 ballgame.
That remained the score until Drew plated runs in both the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings and pushed two more runs across in the sixth to take the 4-2 lead.
Susquehanna responded in the eighth by tying the game on Greg Uhlak’s (Ocean Gatge, N.J./Central Regional) pinch-hit double that scored Rieker. Semmel followed in the very next at-bat with a RBI to right field that scored Uhlak.
SU left a runner stranded in the ninth before Michael Bodden led off the bottom half of the inning with a triple down the right field line. After two intentional walks, Pete Tuchol singled up the middle, sending home the game-winning run.
The Crusaders return to action on April 15 with a 3:30 p.m. game at Messiah.
Late Run Downs Crusaders