BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Susquehanna baseball team captured its first-ever Landmark Conference tournament win on Saturday with a decisive 11-4 win over Catholic.
In the process, the No. 2 seeded Crusaders (26-12) set a new school record with their 26th victory of the year, besting the 25 wins set in 1995—a team that won the Middle Atlantic Commonwealth Conference.
Junior pitcher Spencer Hotaling (Selinsgrove, Pa. / Selinsgrove Area) went the distance, going all nine innings and striking out a season-best eight batters. Hotaling threw 126 pitches--a staggering 90 for strikes--and gave up just one earned run and scattered 11 hits in his ninth-career complete game.
Sophomore third baseman Bryan Palsi (Brielle, N.J. / Manasquan) led the offensive attack with a 3-for-4 performance at the dish, driving in two runs and scoring four times. Palsi was a single away from the cycle as he hit a double, triple and home run.
Junior Kyle Semmel (Burlington Twp., N.J. / Holy Cross) had a team-high four hits and also recorded two RBI. Leadoff hitter Ty Raubenstine (Elizabethville, Pa. / Upper Dauphin Area) finished with three hits and two runs scored.
Dylan Glassmire (Doylestown, Pa. / Central Bucks South), Rob Marcickiewicz (Red Bank, N.J. / Middletown South) and Nick Kennedy (Brookeville, Md. / Good Council) all had two hits each with Glassmire recording three RBI.
After falling behind early 1-0 to No. 3 seed Catholic (21-18), the Crusaders tied the game in the bottom of the second on an RBI groundout by freshman Dylan Jenkins (Glen Mills, Pa. / Bayard Rustin).
SU tacked on another run in the bottom of the third to take a 2-1 edge before the Cardinals regained the lead in the top of the fourth, scoring two unearned runs, to put SU in a 3-2 deficit.
However, the Crusaders responded and knotted the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the frame as junior Jared Musilli (Branchville, N.J. / High Point Regional) drove in Semmel with an RBI single down the left field line.
In the bottom half of the fifth, the Orange & Maroon jumped to a 6-3 lead thanks to an RBI base knock by Glassmire followed by a two-run blast by Palsi, his third round-tripper of the season.
The scoring continued for the Crusaders in the sixth as Glassmire connected with a two-run single to left center and Semmel picked up an RBI base knock to left as SU took a 9-3 advantage.
The Cardinals trimmed the SU lead to 9-4 in the seventh with an RBI infield single, but the Crusaders answered with a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kennedy in the seventh and another RBI single by Semmel in the eighth.
Earlier in the day, No. 4 seed USMMA knocked off No. 1 seed and 22nd-ranked Moravian 5-2 in the opening game.
The Crusaders now play Merchant Marine Academy tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. in the winner’s bracket portion of the tournament.