SELINSGROVE, Pa. – After surrendering a six-run lead, the Susquehanna baseball team scored five runs in the eighth to pull away from Scranton and take game three, 11-6, on Sunday afternoon.
The Crusaders (19-8, 9-3 Landmark) gave up four runs in the top of the eighth frame to the Royals (8-10, 3-6 Landmark) before plating five runs in the bottom of the inning to take the third game of the series.
Leadoff hitter Ty Raubenstine (Elizabethville, Pa. / Upper Dauphin Area) and cleanup hitter Bryan Palsi (Brielle, N.J. / Manasquan) both cracked three hits apiece as SU out Scranton 14-8 on the afternoon.
Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa. / Selinsgrove Area) earned the starting nod and the junior threw three six effective innings, striking out two and giving up two runs.
Senior Matt Smith (Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. / Wyoming Seminary) earned the win in relief, going 1.2 innings with two strikeouts.
SU jumped on the Royals early, going ahead 1-0 in the first inning. Raubenstine led off with a single to center and eventually was brought home with an RBI base knock by Palsi. The Crusaders tacked on another run in the third, thanks to a sacrifice fly by Jenkins, to take a 2-0 lead.
The Orange & Maroon would score twice in the fourth and fifth, respectively, to take a 6-0 advantage. In the fourth, Jared Musilli (Branchville, N.J. / High Point Regional) scored on a throwing error by the Royals' pitcher and Taylor Luckenbill (Pottsville, Pa. / Nativity BVM) successfully executed a squeeze bunt for an RBI.
In the fifth, Kyle Semmel (Burlington Twp., N.J. / Holy Cross) was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on an RBI double by Jenkins. Rob Marcickiewicz (Red Bank, N.J. / Middletown South) followed with a run-scoring double of his own as SU increased their lead to 6-0.
The Royals scratched back into the game with two runs in the sixth, making the contest 6-2. In the eighth, Scranton plated four runs on three hits, including a two-run blast to right field, to tie the game at 6-6.
But the Crusaders responded in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with just one out. Shields delivered the big hit in the form of a two-run double to right field and Musilli also cracked an RBI single to center. The scoring was completed after Raubenstine's two-run double to left as SU answered back and reclaimed the lead 11-6.
Smith shut the door on the Royals in the top of the ninth as the Crusaders earned the crucial Landmark series win.
SU is slated to host Elizabethtown on Wednesday, April 16 at 4 p.m. before heading to Drew for a weekend league series.