WINCHESTER, Va. – Playing the first games of the 2014 season, the Susquehanna baseball team fell twice to host Shenandoah in Monday's doubleheader at Bridgeforth Field.
The Crusaders (0-2) were swept by the Hornets (2-0), dropping game one 3-0 and falling in nightcap 7-1.
In game two, the Hornets jumped out to a 2-0 led after the first inning but SU scored its first run of the afternoon in second. Sophomore Chris Ryan (Toms River, N.J. / Toms River North) singled to left field and later advanced to third on a throwing error. With two outs, junior Nick Kennedy (Brookeville, Md. / Good Council) cracked a base hit to left to score Ryan and cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
The next two innings were scoreless before Shenandoah connected with a two-run home run in the fourth to go ahead 4-1. The Hornets would touch home three times in the sixth to take a 7-1 lead.
The Crusaders finished with three hits, including a double by Bryan Palsi (Brielle, N.J. / Manasquan). Junior southpaw Casey Hood (Shrewsbury, Pa. / Susquehannock) suffered the defeat, giving up three earned runs in four innings, scattering seven hits and fanning three.
Freshmen Bobby Wittemann (Warrington, Pa. / Central Bucks South), A.J. Pinto (Bronxville, N.Y. / Fordham Prep) and Brett Newman (Washington Crossing, Pa. / Council Rock North) all saw their first collegiate action out of the bullpen.
In game one, the bats were cold for SU as Shenandoah pitcher Vince Claudio threw a one-hitter and struck out 12 as the Crusaders fell 3-0.
Freshman Taylor Luckenbill (Pottsville, Pa. / Nativity BVM) accounted for the lone hit for Susquehanna, a single up the middle in his first collegiate at-bat in the first inning.
Starting pitcher Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa. / Selinsgrove Area) was tabbed with the loss, as the junior hurled four innings, scattering five hits, striking out a pair and surrendering just one earned run
Classmate Luc Kocher (Middlebury Center, Pa. / Elkland) threw two innings of relief and struck out one Hornet.
The contest was scoreless until the bottom of the third, when Shenandoah broke through with an RBI double to right center. In the sixth, the Hornets tacked on two insurance runs.
The Crusaders are slated to play at Stevenson on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.