Crusaders Baseball Loses Tough Battle in Florida Finale

Crusaders Baseball Loses Tough Battle in Florida Finale

CLERMONT, Fla. – A late rally by the Susquehanna baseball team fell short as the Crusaders fell in their final game in Fort Pierce on Saturday, 6-5 against La Roche.

Susquehanna (3-5) got on the board right away in the top of the first as Zach Leone (Pelham, N.Y./Fordham Prep/University of Massachusetts) continued his hot hitting with an RBI double in the gap to score Matt Cassinelli (Valhalla, N.Y./Valhalla/SUNY Westchester CC) to make it 1-0.

The Crusaders added another one in the top of the third when Tom Shields (Chalfont, Pa./Central Bucks South) ripped a single up the middle to score Leone for a 2-0 game.

La Roche's bats woke up in the bottom of the sixth, though, when the team ripped a RBI triple to tie the game at two followed by a rare straight steal home to take a 3-2 lead.

The Redhawks added more in the seventh as they tallied three more runs with a two-run double and a fielder's choice to make it 6-2.

The Crusaders fought back in the eighth, starting with RBI groundout by Mike Rucereto (Washington Twp., N.J./Bergen Catholic) followed by a Redhawks error by the shortstop to cut the lead to two (6-4).

Shields came up with a big, two-out RBI single to score Cole Luzins (Phoenixville, Pa./Phoenixville) to make it 6-5 but the Crusaders couldn't find an answer in the top of the ninth when momentum was killed following an unlucky line drive that led to a double play.

Susquehanna goes back on the road to face Stevenson on Wednesday, March 11 before opening Landmark Conference play at Drew on March 14-15.