SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The Susquehanna baseball team extended its school-record 13-game winning streak on Sunday, outlasting Merchant Marine Academy 11-10 in 15 innings.
The Crusaders (13-3, 6-0 Landmark) won the marathon contest on a throwing error by the Mariners’ pitcher, as freshman Taylor Luckenbill (Pottsville, Pa. / Nativity BVM) scored the game-winning run.
Luckenbill ended the afternoon going 5-for-8 at the plate with two doubles, two runs scored and four RBI. The rookie led off the bottom of the 15th with a double to left and would get to third on a ground out by Dylan Glassmire (Doylestown, Pa. / Central Bucks South).
Sophomore Bryan Palsi (Brielle, N.J. / Manasquan) followed with a come-backer to the pitcher, but the throw sailed over the first baseman’s head and scoring Luckenbill.
SU out hit the Mariners (8-5, 0-3 Landmark) by a 21-15 margin as both teams stranded a combined 25 runners on base. Senior Ty Raubenstine (Elizabethville, Pa. / Upper Dauphin Area) and Palsi both collected three hits and two RBI each.
Glassmire, Kyle Semmel (Burlington Twp., N.J. / Holy Cross), Rob Marcickiewicz (Red Bank, N.J. / Middletown South) and Nick Kennedy (Brookeville, Md. / Good Council) all recorded two hits.
The game featured 12 pitchers, with SU using seven arms. Liam Conboy (Old Tappan, N.J. / Northern Valley Regional) picked up the victory, throwing two scoreless innings of relief in the 14th and 15th. Starter Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa. / Selinsgrove Area) lasted five innings, scattering eight hits while allowing three earned runs.
Senior Matt Smith (Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. / Wyoming Seminary) threw a career-high five innings and struck out six Mariners. The righty appeared in the bottom of the ninth in a save situation, leading 10-9, but unfortunately USMMA scored a run with two outs to send the game to extras.
Merchant Marine jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after one frame but SU would take their first lead of the day by plating two in the bottom of the third. Kennedy led off with a single to left and Luckenbill brought him home with an RBI double to right center. Palsi later cracked a run-scoring single to right giving the Crusaders a 2-1 advantage.
But the Mariners would reclaim the lead in the fifth by scoring twice as Warren Hartmann ripped a two-run double down the left field line to put SU into a 4-2 deficit.
However, the Orange & Maroon countered with a three-run showing in the bottom of the frame. Kennedy and Raubenstine hit back-to-back singles and Luckenbill brought both runners home with a base knock to right. Palsi eventually hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Luckenbill and give SU a 5-4 edge.
That lead was short lived as USMMA again scored two times in the sixth to go ahead 6-5. The Mariners increased the lead in the seventh inning including a two-run double to left center, claiming a 9-5 advantage.
Once again, the Crusaders answered back with two runs on three hits in the bottom of the seventh. Raubenstine led off with a single through the left side and Glassmire cracked a base knock to center. Palsi loaded the bases with a walk and Semmel ensued with a two-run double down the left field line to get SU within two, 9-7.
SU reclaimed the lead in the eighth with Marcickiewicz cracking a lead-off double to left. Senior Greg Stellon (Chadds Ford, Pa. / Tatnall School) pinch ran for the sophomore and would later score on a two-run double to left by Raubenstine. Luckenbill hit the very next pitch to left for a single, giving the Crusaders a 10-9 lead.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Mariners scored the tying run. The Crusaders had runners on second and third with two outs in the 11th, but were unsuccessful in scoring until the 15th inning.
SU is scheduled to host Neumann in a non-conference tilt on Tuesday, March 25 at 4 p.m.