SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Despite battling back from an early deficit, the Susquehanna baseball team fell 2-1 to visiting Wesley on Thursday afternoon--only the second home defeat for the Crusaders all season.
SU (23-10) surrendered a run to the Wolverines (17-16) in the top half of the first and were held scoreless until the bottom of the seventh, when the Crusaders knotted the game at 1-1.
However, Wesley plated another run in the top of the eighth and handed SU their second defeat on the year, as the Orange & Maroon fell 7-6 in 11 innings at Wesley back on April 1, which ended their school-record 15 game winning streak.
The Crusaders outhit Wesley 7-3 with sophomore Bryan Palsi (Brielle, N.J. / Manasquan) collecting a pair of singles.
Freshman Bobby Wittemann (Warrington, Pa. / Central Bucks South) got the starting nod and the righty threw three innings, scattering only two hits and allowing one run. Classmate Liam Conboy (Old Tappan, N.J. / Northern Valley Regional) also tossed three innings of relief, striking out three and not surrendering a hit.
Lefty A.J. Pinto (Bronxville, N.Y. / Fordham Prep) was tagged with the defeat, as the rookie went three frames and gave up the game-winning run despite fanning a pair.
The Crusaders threatened in the bottom of the fourth as Dylan Glassmire (Doylestown, Pa. / Central Bucks South) led off with a single through the right side. Palsi laid down a bunt single and Glassmire would advance to third on a fielding error by Wesley’s pitcher. Unfortunately, the Crusaders could not get in a run despite having a runner on third with one out.
But SU bounced back in the seventh as freshman Tom Shields (Chalfont, Pa. / Central Bucks South) cracked a double down the left field line to start the frame. Junior Jared Musilli (Branchville, N.J. / High Point Regional) brought him home with a single to left center to tie the contest at 1-1.
The tie was short lived, however, as the Wolverines’ Tyler Hunter ripped a triple to left center and scored on an RBI groundout to put SU in a 2-1 hole.
In the bottom of the ninth, Kyle Semmel (Burlington Twp., N.J. / Holy Cross) reached on a fielding error by the third baseman and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Freshman Dylan Jenkins (Glen Mills, Pa. / Bayard Rustin) moved Semmel to third with a groundout but Wesley shut the door on the SU rally.
The Crusaders host Catholic this weekend for the final regular season Landmark Conference series as SU has already clinched a spot in the upcoming conference playoffs. SU’s five seniors will be honored in a pre-game ceremony before Saturday’s doubleheader at 1 p.m.