FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Sophomore Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa. / Selinsgrove Area) hurled a complete game, three hit shutout in the first game against PSU-Behrend as Susquehanna baseball split with the Lions at Indian River State College on Friday afternoon.
Hotaling struck out six Lions (5-2) and only walked one batter as the Crusaders won 4-0. Hotaling forced 13 groundouts in the win.
The Crusaders (2-8) had five hits in the opener, as junior centerfielder Ty Raubenstine (Elizabethville, Pa. / Upper Dauphin) went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Freshmen Rob Marcickiewicz (Red Bank, N.J. / Middletown South) and Dylan Glassmire (Doylestown, Pa. / Central Bucks South) both recorded an RBI.
Sophomores Nick Kennedy (Brookeville, Md. / Good Council) and Jared Musilli (Branchville, N.J. / High Point Regional) picked up the other hits for the Crusaders and Bryan Palsi (Brielle, N.J. / Manasquan) reached base on two intentional walks.
The game was scoreless until SU broke through in the bottom of the third. Raubenstine singled up the middle and Kennedy moved him over to second with a sacrifice bunt. Marcickiewicz smacked a double to left field to score Raubenstine, giving the Crusaders a 1-0 lead
Hotaling picked up some insurance runs in the fifth when Musilli stroked a base knock to right field and later scored on a passed ball. Kennedy ripped a single through the left side and touched home off a sacrifice fly by Glassmire to extend the SU lead to 3-0.
Mike Rucereto (Washington Twp., N.J. / Bergen Catholic) reached base on a fielding error by the shortstop to begin the bottom half of the sixth. Josh Cimino (Bel Air, Md. / C. Milton Wright) replaced Rucereto as a pinch runner and scored off another Raubenstine single to make the contest 4-0.
Hotaling had two Lions reach base in the seventh but sealed the win with a strikeout.
In game two, senior southpaw Brian Wendig (West Chester, Pa. / Malvern Prep) went 5 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out one for SU. The starter gave up two first inning runs before settling down and only giving up two the rest of his outing.
The Crusaders got on the board after Kyle Semmel (Burlington Twp., N.J. / Holy Cross) singled for his first hit of the season and then stole second. Raubenstine brought Semmel home with another single to trim the deficit to 3-1.
In the seventh, Rucereto walked followed by another Semmel single. Musilli cracked a base hit to center to bring home Rucereto, cutting the Lion lead to 5-2. Raubenstine loaded the bases with a walk and Kennedy recorded an RBI with a sac fly to left field to bring the contest within two runs, 5-3. But the Lions closed the door and hung on for the 5-3 win.
The Crusaders close out their Florida trip by playing No. 16 Keystone tomorrow at 9 a.m.