BETHLEHEM, Pa. – It took 11 innings but it was well worth the wait as the No. 2 seed Susquehanna baseball team’s 6-5, 11-inning win over No. 4 seed Merchant Marine Academy on Sunday afternoon put the Crusaders in Monday’s championship game, the first-ever Landmark championship game appearance for SU.
Susquehanna (27-12) will now face the winner of Sunday’s final game between Moravian and USMMA on Monday at 11 a.m.
Dylan Glassmire (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks South) came up with the game-winning play as his bases-loaded walk sent home Nick Kennedy (Brookeville, Md./Good Council), who had opened up the inning with a single to right center.
Leadoff hitter Ty Raubenstine (Elizabethville, Pa./Upper Dauphin Area) finished 2-for-6 with a run scored while Bryan Palsi (Brielle, N.J./Manasquan) went 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Casey Hood (Shrewsbury, Pa./Susquehannock) started the game and pitched the first seven innings, giving up four runs on nine hits. Liam Conboy (Old Tappan, N.J./Northern Valley Regional) pitched the next 1.1 innings before giving way to senior closer Matt Smith (Blue Ridge Summit, Pa./Wyoming Seminary), who tossed the final scoreless 2.2 innings and picked up the win, his second of the season.
SU jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning. Palsi drove in the first two runs with a single through the right side and Tom Shields’ (Chalfont, Pa./Central Bucks South) single to left center sent home the other two runs for a 4-0 lead after just one inning of play.
USMMA made it a 4-3 game after one run in the second and two more in the top of the third before a RBI groundout by Jared Musilli (Branchville, N.J./High Point Regional) in the bottom of the third gave SU a two-run cushion (5-3).
The Mariners were able to add solo runs in the fourth and eighth innings, though, to knot the game at five.
The Crusaders were retired in order in the eighth and ninth innings while Conboy worked out of a jam in the ninth to force extra innings.
Neither team put a runner on base in the 10th and Smith worked around a one-out double in the 11th to keep it a 5-5 game after 10 ½ innings of play.
In the bottom of the 11th, Kennedy opened the inning with a single that was followed by a fielding error on a ball hit by Raubenstine and a fielder’s choice on Taylor Luckenbill’s (Pottsville, Pa./Nativity BVM) grounder to the pitcher that loaded the bases. That’s when Glassmire drew the game-winning, bases-loaded walk to give SU its first-ever championship game appearance.
Baseball Heading to Landmark Championship Game