HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Susquehanna's baseball squad managed a split in the final Landmark Conference doubleheader of 2012 at Juniata. The Crusaders won the nightcap 7-4 after dropping the first game 5-1.
During the second contest, SU (15-23, 4-13) fell behind 1-0 after the first inning but bounced right back as Dan Wing (West Chester, Pa. / Unionville / Catawba) smashed his first home run of the season down the left field line to tie the game at 1-1 in the third.
The Crusaders tacked on another run in the fourth after Kyle Semmel (Burlington Twp., N.J. / Holy Cross) singled and later scored on a throwing error by the Eagles' pitcher.
Pat Jennings (Essex Falls, N.J. / West Essex) and Wing led off the fifth inning with walks and Ethan Rieker (Lancaster, Pa. / Manheim Twp.) ripped a two-run double to left center. Two batters later Nick Kennedy (Brookeville, Md. / Good Council) brought home Rieker as the Crusaders took the lead 5-1.
In the sixth, Jared Musilli (Branchville, N.J. / High Point Regional) walked and later scored on a squeeze bunt by Jennings. Wing picked up another RBI on a sacrifice fly to push the SU advantage to 7-1.
Juniata (12-24, 3-14) battled back in the bottom of the sixth frame, plating three runs on three hits to trim the lead to 7-4. But reliever Matt Smith (Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. / Wyoming Seminary) closed the door in the seventh, earning the split for SU.
Casey Hood (Shrewsbury, Pa. / Susquehannock / IUP) picked up the win on the mound, his third of the year. He went five innings and scattered five hits.
In game one, the Crusaders only managed two hits and committed five crucial errors as they dropped the opener 5-1.
In the top of the first, Kennedy scored on a wild pitch to put SU ahead 1-0.
The Eagles tied the contest up at 1-1 in the bottom of the third. Juniata scored once in the fourth, twice in the fifth and once in the sixth to go ahead 5-1.
The Crusaders recorded their first hits of the day in the top of the seventh as Rieker cracked a single through the left side and Mike Rucereto (Washington Twp., N.J. / Bergen Catholic) ripped a double down the left field line. But the next two batters recorded outs to end the scoring threat and the game.
Zach Place (Towanda, Pa. / Towanda Area) suffered the defeat on the hill, going 5 1/3 innings, scattering five hits and surrendering two earned runs.
The Crusaders wrap up Landmark Conference play with a single game against the Eagles tomorrow at 12:00 p.m.