Offense Guides Baseball to Victory over Juniata

Offense Guides Baseball to Victory over Juniata

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – A season-high 11 runs propelled the Susquehanna baseball team to an 11-6 home-opening win against Juniata on a cold Monday afternoon.

The Crusaders (4-7, 1-2) broke through for six runs in the fourth inning to help give them the win. Three batters had at least two hits in the game, including Zach Leone (Pelham, N.Y./Fordham Prep/University of Massachusetts) who also scored a run and drove in three. Bryan Palsi (Brielle, N.J./Manasquan) drove in three runs on one hit and Nick Kennedy (Brookeville, Md./Good Council) went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.

Starting pitcher Casey Hood (Shrewsbury, Pa./Susquehannock) went 4.2 innings, giving up six runs (four earned) with three walks and three strikeouts. Cole Luzins (Phoenixville, Pa./Phoenixville) tossed the final 4.1 innings of shutout ball.

SU got on the board with two runs in the second. Tom Shields (Chalfont, Pa./Central Bucks South) drove in one run on a double to right center and Kennedy followed with a RBI single to right that scored Shields.

Susquehanna tacked on a run in the third when Leone grounded out to the pitcher with runners on the corners.

The Crusaders then broke through for six runs in the following inning. Kennedy drove in the first run on a bunt single before Justin Cassinelli (Valhalla, N.Y./Valhalla/SUNY Westchester CC) and Leone each drew bases loaded walks for a 6-0 SU lead. Then, with the bases still loaded, Palsi sent home all three runners with a double to left center.

Unfortunately, Juniata (4-6, 0-4) got back all six runs in the top of the fifth on five hits and two Crusader errors. Andre Pendleton came up a two-RBI single to left field to drive in the fourth and fifth runs of the inning and the Eagles came out of the inning down just four (10-6).

It remained 10-6 until Susquehanna tacked on an insurance run on Shields' sac fly to right in the bottom of the seventh to make it 11-6 in favor of SU.

The Eagles put runners on base in the eighth and ninth innings but Luzins worked out of trouble to preserve Susquehanna's victory.

The Crusaders complete their three-game series against Juniata with a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 24 beginning at 1 p.m.