WINCHESTER, Va. – Opening up the 2013 season, Susquehanna’s baseball team dropped a pair of one-run games at No. 23 Shenandoah on Sunday. The Crusaders fell in game one, 5-4, and lost game two, 6-5, as the Hornets won both in walk-off fashion.
In game two, the Hornets (4-1) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after the first inning before the Crusaders (0-2) tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the second. Freshman Bryan Palsi (Brielle, N.J. / Manasquan) singled down the right field line and Rob Marcickiewicz (Red Bank, N.J. / Middletown South) singled to left field, moving Palsi to third base. Chris Ryan (Toms River, N.J. / Toms River North) reached on an error by the shortstop, which scored Palsi.
SU continued to hit by scoring four runs on three hits in the top of the fourth. Senior Nick Ferlise (Toms River, N.J. / Toms River North) led off the inning getting hit by a pitch and both Palsi and Marcickiewicz reached base on bunt singles.
Ryan picked up two RBI with a single down the right field line and senior Ken Kayama [Koto-Ku, Japan / Solebury (Pa.)] drove in a run on a groundout to second. Ryan later scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Jared Musilli (Branchville, N.J. / High Point Regional) as SU went ahead 5-1.
The Hornets trimmed the lead to 5-2 in the bottom half of the fourth and scored a pair of runs in the fifth to cut the Crusader advantage to 5-4. Shenandoah also scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to hand Susquehanna the loss.
Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa. / Selinsgrove Area) started the contest, going five innings while scattering eight hits and four earned runs while striking out a pair in the no decision.
In the earlier contest, a seventh-inning three-run rally by the Crusaders fell short as SU lost 5-4. The Hornets went ahead 4-1 after three innings of play. Susquehanna started the top of the seventh with a Marcickiwiecz walk and Josh Cimino (Bel Air, Md. / C. Milton Wright) came off the bench for a pinch-run stolen base and later scored as Dylan Glassmire (Doylestown, Pa. / Central Bucks South) picked up an RBI with a single up the middle.
Kayama cracked a single to right field, advancing Glassmire to third. Ty Raubenstine (Elizabethville, Pa. / Upper Dauphin) ripped an RBI double to right field, bringing the Crusaders within one run (4-3). Musilli knotted the game at 4-4 with a RBI groundout.
Despite the rally, the Hornets bounced back in the bottom of the inning, with two singles and two walks to score the winning run.
Casey Hood (Shrewsbury, Pa. / Susquehannock) got the starting nod, going three innings and surrendering three hits and four runs while striking out four and walking four in the no decision.
The Crusaders are travelling to Fort Pierce, Fla. for spring training from March 2-10. Their first game is a doubleheader against Westminster (Pa.) on Saturday at 10 a.m.