FT. PIERCE, Fla. – Seeking their first victory of the season, the Susquehanna baseball team couldn't get a win as they dropped a pair of games Monday to Misericordia and La Roche at the Lawnwood Complex.
Playing under the lights against the Redhawks (4-1), senior southpaw Brian Wendig (West Chester, Pa. / Malvern Prep) pitched seven solid innings, scattering five hits and allowing two unearned runs but the Crusaders (0-6) fell to La Roche 2-0.
Junior Matt Smith (Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. / Wyoming Seminary) appeared in his first action of the year, pitching two scoreless innings.
Bryan Palsi (Brielle, N.J. / Manasquan) reached on an infield single in the ninth to become the possible tying run, but the La Roche closer struck out the last hitter to end the contest.
Ty Raubenstine (Elizabethville, Pa. / Upper Dauphin) went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles to right field in the defeat.
The afternoon began against Misericordia (7-1) who threatened to score in the second before a 7-6-2 relay by the Crusaders ended the inning. The game remained scoreless for the first three innings of play before the Cougars got on the board in the bottom of the fourth after cracking three singles off starter Luc Kocher (Middlebury Center, Pa. / Elkland).
The Cougars scored two additional runs from four hits in the fifth to jump ahead 3-0. SU looked poised to make a rally in the top of the eighth as Raubenstine and Rob Marcickiewicz (Red Bank, N.J. / Middletown South) both reached on errors.
Mike Rucereto (Washington Twp., N.J. / Bergen Catholic) ripped a base knock up the middle but unfortunately, Raubenstine was thrown out at home by D3baseball.com pre-season All-American centerfielder Kenny Durling to keep the Crusaders off the board. In the bottom half of the eighth, Misericordia slated four more runs on five hits to seal the shutout.
Rucereto and Palsi were the only Crusaders to earn hits off the Cougars. Kocher was charged with the defeat as the sophomore went 7 1/3 innings, scattering 10 hits and striking out five.
The Crusaders are off tomorrow before facing Lebanon Valley and Elizabethtown on Wednesday, starting at 11:30 a.m.