FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Starting pitcher Luc Kocher (Middlebury Center, Pa. / Elkland) threw seven strong innings and allowed only one hit as the Susquehanna baseball team defeated Marywood 4-1 for their fifth-consecutive win on Thursday afternoon.
Kocher allowed the only hit during his outing in the seventh inning as the junior right hander struck out four Pacers, earning his second win of the year.
Freshman Brett Newman (Washington Crossing, Pa. / Council Rock North) relieved Kocher in the eighth, allowing Marywood’s lone run, before senior closer Matt Smith (Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. / Wyoming Seminary) appeared in the ninth, shutting the door for his fourth save in as many chances.
The Crusaders (5-3) outhit the Pacers (2-3) by a 10-3 margin, with the seven through nine hitters accounting for seven of those hits. Junior Jared Musilli (Branchville, N.J. / High Point Regional) led the way with three base knocks and two RBI. Freshman Tom Shields (Chalfont, Pa. / Central Bucks South) and junior Nick Kennedy (Brookeville, Md. / Good Council) finished with two hits apiece.
SU went ahead 2-0 in the top of the second inning, with sophomore Chris Ryan (Toms River, N.J. / Toms River North) leading off with a single to right. Classmate Dylan Glassmire (Doylestown, Pa. / Central Bucks South) moved him over with a sacrifice bunt and Shields followed with a run-scoring single to center. Musilli cracked a base knock to left, scoring Shields and handing the Crusaders an early two-run edge.
The Orange & Maroon threatened to score once again in the top of the fifth, beginning the inning with bases loaded and no outs. Musilli, Kennedy and Ty Raubenstine (Elizabethville, Pa. / Upper Dauphin Area) all reached on bunt base hits. However, the Pacers took advantage of a double play on a pop-up bunt to get out of the inning unscathed.
But in the seventh, the Crusaders tacked on another run as Kennedy scored on a passed ball, giving SU a 3-0 lead. SU would strike again in the eighth, this time with two outs, as Glassmire drew a walk and Shields ripping a single to center. Musilli followed with another clutch hit to left center, scoring Glassmire and extending the lead to 4-0.
Marywood ruined the shutout in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single to right center with two outs. With a runner on third in the bottom of the ninth, Smith struck out the Pacer batter to end the game and give SU its fifth-straight win, their longest winning streak since 2010.
The Crusaders face off against Arcadia tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.