FORT PIERCE, Fla. – The Susquehanna baseball won their sixth-straight game on Friday evening, defeating Arcadia 5-3 in a 12-inning thriller, the longest game for the team since 2007.
The Crusaders (6-3) scored one run in the opening inning before surrendering three to the Knights (0-1) in the fourth. SU scored once in the fifth and the eighth to tie the contest at 3-3. The teams then went to extra innings, with the Orange & Maroon finally ending the game in the 12th, the longest game since SU played Juniata to a 4-4 tie in 12 innings back on March 26, 2007 and tied Wilkes 11-11 on April 12, 2005.
SU stole 11 bases in the contest, with junior Jared Musilli (Branchville, N.J. / High Point Regional) swiping four bags. Musilli finished with a game-high three hits and one RBI.
Junior Kyle Semmel (Burlington Twp., N.J. / Holy Cross) recorded two RBI while Ty Raubenstine (Elizabethville, Pa. / Upper Dauphin Area) and Nick Kennedy (Brookeville, Md. / Good Council) had two hits apiece.
Starting pitcher Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa. / Selinsgrove Area) threw eight innings, giving up four hits, allowing two earned runs and striking out six Knights. Despite giving up three runs in the fourth, Hotaling only let two more runners on base during the rest of his outing.
Freshman A.J. Pinto (Bronxville, N.Y. / Fordham Prep) earned the win as he relieved Hotaling in the eighth, going three innings and striking out four while allowing just two hits. Senior closer Matt Smith (Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. / Wyoming Seminary) shut the door in the 12th, earning his fifth save in as many chances.
Raubenstine led off the game with a single up the middle and later scored on a run-scoring single by Semmel, giving SU an early 1-0 lead. That remained the score until Arcadia put together a three-run fourth to put the Crusaders in a 3-1 deficit.
But SU kept fighting and got within one during the next inning with Taylor Luckenbill (Pottsville, Pa. / Nativity BVM) starting the frame with a single to right center. After a bunt base hit by Dylan Glassmire (Doylestown, Pa. / Central Bucks South), Semmel followed with another RBI to make the score 3-2.
The Crusaders knotted the contest at 3-3 in the eighth as Ben Miller (Columbia, Md. / Hammond) was hit by a pitch and eventually touched home on a squeeze bunt by Kennedy. SU threatened to score the go-ahead run in the ninth with Semmel on third, but could not find a way to bring him home as the game headed to extras.
Arcadia had runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the 10th but an unassisted put-out by Glassmire ended the scoring threat and continued the contest.
Finally in the 12th, the Crusaders broke through as freshman Jimmy Kinneally (Brielle, N.J. / Manasquan) lifted a pinch-hit single to center field and would later advance to third on a failed pick-off attempt and throwing error by Arcadia’s pitcher. Musilli followed with an RBI single to right and eventually touched home on a RBI groundout by Raubenstine.
In the bottom of the 12th, Smith allowed a pair of runners to reach before retiring the next three batters, all on strike outs to continue the team’s six-game winning streak.
The Crusaders end their Florida Spring Training Trip tomorrow against Northwestern (Minn.) at 10:00 a.m.