WASHINGTON, D.C. – Freshman Bryan Palsi (Brielle, N.J. / Manasquan) collected six hits on Saturday but Susquehanna dropped two games at Catholic despite jumping out to early leads in both contests.
In the opener, the Crusaders (12-22, 6-8) spoiled a 4-0 lead after four innings of action and dropped an 8-4 decision.
Freshman Josh Cimino (Bel Air, Md. / C. Milton Wright) led off the game with a base knock to left and later scored on an RBI single to right by Brian Palsi (Brielle, N.J. / Manasquan) to give SU an early 1-0 lead.
SU plated two more runs in the third to go ahead 3-0. Ty Raubenstine (Elizabethville, Pa. / Upper Dauphin Area) began the frame with a single to left and the junior centerfielder eventually touched home on a run-scoring double down the left field line by Nick Kennedy (Brookeville, Md. / Good Council). Palsi picked up his second RBI of the game with another single to right, scoring Kennedy.
In the top of the fourth, senior Nick Ferlise (Toms River, N.J. / Toms River North) blasted a solo homer over the right field fence to increase the advantage 4-0. The round tripper marked his fifth of the year and 16th homer and 101st RBI of his career. Rob Marcickiewicz (Red Bank, N.J. / Middletown South) and Cimino both had base hits later in the frame but were left stranded.
Unfortunately, the Cardinals (23-12, 10-4) scored six runs on four hits in the bottom of the fourth to claim the lead 6-4. Catholic added another run in the fifth to go up 7-4.
SU put together back-to-back hits to begin the sixth as Dan Wing (West Chester, Pa. / Unionville) and Ferlise cracked singles. But the two seniors were unable to score as the Crusaders hit into an inning-ending double play.
Kennedy reached on an error by Catholic’s pitcher to start the seventh, followed by a single to right by Dylan Glassmire (Doylestown, Pa. / Central Bucks South) to give SU two runners on with no outs. But the Cardinals recorded three consecutive outs to end the threat and the game.
Sophomore Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa. / Selinsgrove Area) started the contest and suffered the defeat, throwing 3.2 innings, surrendering only two hits while fanning three and walking four.
In game two, SU jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Once again, Cimino led off the game with a single and later scored on an RBI single to left by Palsi in the first. During the top of the second, Jared Musilli (Branchville, N.J. / High Point Regional) reached on a fielding miscue by the Catholic shortstop and he eventually came home after another Cardinal error.
But Catholic knotted the game at 2-2 after scoring a pair of runs on four hits in the bottom of the second. SU reclaimed the lead, 3-2, in the third as Palsi doubled to left center and came home after a Ferlise base knock. The Crusaders extended the lead to 4-2 in the fourth when Glassmire and Palsi hit consecutive doubles.
The Cardinals tied the contest at 4-4 by plating two runs on a single down the right field line in the fourth. Catholic took their first lead of the game in the fifth and added an insurance run in the sixth as SU trailed 6-4 entering their final at bat.
Palsi registered his fourth hit of the game and sixth of the day in the top of the seventh but was later picked off at first after a strike out to end the game.
Luc Kocher (Middlebury Center, Pa. / Elkland) started the nightcap and threw five innings, allowing nine hits and issuing one walk while suffering the defeat.
The Crusaders and Cardinals conclude their series tomorrow with a nine-inning game at 12 p.m.