FT. PIERCE, Fla. – After dropping the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader with Massachusetts Maritime, the Susquehanna baseball team responded with a 4-1 victory in the second contest to earn their first win of the 2014 season.
Starting pitcher Luc Kocher (Middlebury Center, Pa. / Elkland) earned the win as the junior went five innings, allowing only two hits to the Buccaneers without allowing a run.
Freshman Eric Soranno (Watchung, N.J. / Watchung Hills) made his collegiate debut in the sixth. Despite surrendering Mass. Maritime’s lone run, the rookie right hander struck out two. Senior closer Matt Smith (Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. / Wyoming Seminary) earned his first save of the season after shutting down the Bucs in the seventh.
The contest was scoreless until the top of the second when junior Nick Kennedy (Brookeville, Md. / Good Council) and senior Ty Raubenstine (Elizabethville, Pa. / Upper Dauphin Area) both reached on throwing errors.
Freshman Taylor Luckenbill (Pottsville, Pa. / Nativity BVM) advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt and sophomore Bryan Palsi (Brielle, N.J. / Manasquan) followed with the big hit, a two-run single up the middle, to give SU a 2-0 lead.
The Crusaders (1-3) would tack on another run in the top of the fourth as Kyle Semmel (Burlington Twp., N.J. / Holy Cross) led off the inning with an infield single. The junior later stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and touched home on a passed ball to extend the SU lead to 3-0.
Pinch runner Greg Stellon (Chadds Ford, Pa. / Tatnall School) gave SU a 4-0 edge in the sixth after the senior scored on a Jared Musilli (Branchville, N.J. / High Point Regional) single to center field.
The Bucs (1-2) got on the scoreboard with a sac fly in the bottom of the frame, but Smith threw a flawless seventh to seal the Crusader win.SU recorded six hits with Kennedy leading the way with two, including a double in the sixth inning.
In the earlier contest, the Crusaders squandered a 3-0 lead and fell to the Bucs 4-3. Junior Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa. / Selinsgrove Area) suffered the defeat, going 5.1 innings with two strikeouts while giving up three earned runs. Smith relieved and threw 1.2 innings with one punch out.
Luckenbill went 3-for-4 as the Crusaders out hit the Bucs seven to four, but unfortunately SU gave up three runs in the sixth and Mass. Maritime earned their first win this year.
Palsi and Dylan Glassmire (Doylestown, Pa. / Central Bucks South) both had one RBI apiece to pace SU.
The Crusaders play Immaculata tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.