WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – A seven-run seventh inning helped lead the Susquehanna baseball team to an eventual 11-8 victory at Wilkes on Wednesday afternoon.
The Crusaders trailed 4-3 heading into that seventh inning before scoring a combined eight runs over the final three innings of play.
Mike Rucereto (Washington Twp., N.J./Bergen Catholic) was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and one RBI. He was one of seven SU players to pick up at least one hit in the game. Cory Fallon (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) had two hits and two RBI and Nick Kennedy (Brookeville, Md./Good Council) went 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored.
Five different pitchers took the mound for Susquehanna. Bobby Wittemann (Warrington, Pa./Central Bucks South) started the game and pitched the first 4.2 innings, giving up three runs on four hits.
Bobby Klatt (Leonardo, N.J./Mater Dei Prep) pitched the next 0.2 innings – and allowed one run – before giving way to Eric Soranno (Watchung, N.J./Watchung Hills). Despite giving up three runs, Soranno ended up getting the win.
Matt Smith (Blue Ridge Summit, Pa./Wyoming Seminary) proceeded to earn his ninth save of the season, extending his own single-season record.
In the second inning, the Crusaders put three runs on the board, two of which scored on Kennedy's single through the right side. Wilkes, however, scored two of its own in the bottom half of the inning to trim SU's lead to one (3-2).
It remained 3-2 until the Colonels added solo runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to go ahead 4-3.
The Crusaders responded by plating seven runs in their half of the seventh. Six different players had at least one RBI in the inning, including Fallon who drove in two runs with a double to center field and SU came out of the inning leading 10-4.
Wilkes scored its fifth run of the game in the eighth to make it 10-5 but Rucereto scored a run on a wild pitch in the ninth to make it a six-run game (11-5).
The Colonels were not ready to call it a night, though, and pushed three runs across in the ninth. With two outs and two men on base, though, Smith got Ryan Herbst to pop up to end the game.
The Crusaders return to action on Thursday, April 10 with a 4 p.m. game at DeSales.