FORT PIERCE, Fla. – In a high-scoring contest, the Susquehanna baseball held off a pesky Immaculata squad and defeated the Mighty Macs 13-10 in the hot Florida sun on Monday afternoon.
The Crusaders (2-3) won their second-straight contest as junior lefty Casey Hood (Shrewsbury, Pa. / Susquehannock) earned the win on the mound, going five innings and giving up only two earned runs on four hits while striking out five.
Offensively, SU outhit Immaculata (1-2) 13-10, with senior centerfielder Ty Raubenstine (Elizabethville, Pa. / Upper Dauphin Area) and junior leftfielder Jared Musilli (Branchville, N.J. / High Point Regional) leading the attack with three base hits apiece.
Bryan Palsi (Brielle, N.J. / Manasquan), Kyle Semmel (Burlington Twp., N.J. / Holy Cross) and Tom Shields (Chalfont, Pa. / Central Bucks South) all finished with two hits each.
The Crusaders used four pitchers out of the bullpen, with freshman Bobby Klatt (Leonardo, N.J. / Mater Dei Prep) and Brett Newman (Washington Crossing, Pa. / Council Rock North) holding the Mighty Macs without a run during their action on the mound.
SU fell behind 1-0 after the first inning but recovered with two runs in the second and third innings. Shields cracked an RBI double in the second frame and later scored on a throwing error by the pitcher. The Crusaders had the bases loaded with no outs to begin the third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Semmel and another costly error by Immaculata to take a 4-2 lead.
After the Mighty Macs trimmed the advantage to 4-3, the Crusaders exploded for six runs in the fourth to go ahead 10-3. Musilli, Nick Kennedy (Brookeville, Md. / Good Council) and Raubenstine led off the frame with consecutive singles to load the bases. After Taylor Luckenbill (Pottsville, Pa. / Nativity BVM) reached on an error, Immaculata’s pitcher balked in a run. Semmel and Shields both followed up with RBI singles to centerfield.
The Crusaders put three more runs on the scoreboard in the seventh to extend their lead to 13-6. Again, the Orange & Maroon loaded the bases with no outs. Luckenbill was struck by a pitch and Palsi drew a walk to bring in two more runs. Dylan Jenkins (Glen Mills, Pa. / Bayard Rustin) recorded an RBI groundout to end the scoring for SU.
But Immaculata would not go away without a fight and scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to get within three, 13-10. Newman was brought out of the bullpen and induced a crucial double play to end the rally as SU escaped with the win.
The Crusaders play Misericordia tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.