SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The Susquehanna baseball team is heading to next weekend's Landmark Conference championship series after taking two from Drew on Saturday in a best-of-three semifinal series. The Crusaders won game won 5-3 and game two 5-4 in walk-off fashion in the 10th inning.
Susquehanna will face the winner of the Moravian-Elizabethtown semifinal series; the start of the series was pushed back to Sunday due to weather and field conditions.
In game one, Justin Cassinelli led all hitters going 3-3 with one RBI and one run scored. Taylor Luckenbill went 2-3 with two runs scored while Bryan Palsi and Dylan Glassmire were 2-4 with one RBI each with Palsi adding a double and a run scored.
Pitcher Cole Luzins (4-1) earned the win in 5.2 innings of relief work.
The Rangers (18-23) scored in the top of the first inning but a sacrifice fly from Matt Cassinelli in the bottom of the inning scored Justin Cassinelli to tie the game at one.
Justin Cassinelli came through with a RBI single in the bottom of the second to give the Crusaders (27-14) the 2-1 lead when Luckenbill scored on the hit.
Drew scored two runs in the top of the fourth to take a 3-2 lead. Susquehanna answered with two runs in its half of the inning to go up by one (4-3) when Glassmire singled to score Palsi before Luckenbill scored on a passed ball.
A single in the bottom of the eighth from Palsi scored Dylan Jenkins to give SU the 5-3 lead, which remained the final score when Luzins got Jon Vilicich to foul out with runners on first and second in the top of the ninth.
Zach Leone led the offense in game two as he went 3-5 with one RBI, two runs scored and a home run. The big hit came off the bat of Palsi, though, as his walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 10th that plated the series-winning run.
Relief pitcher Nathan Madden earned the win in 5.1 innings of work with one strikeout.
The game remained scoreless until the top of the fifth inning when Drew scored four runs to take a 4-0 lead. Susquehanna answered in the bottom of the sixth with a solo homer from Leone to cut the lead to three (4-1).
A three-run eighth inning for Susquehanna knotted the game at four. Matt Cassinelli doubled down the left field line to score Tom Shields while Jenkins followed with an opposite field single that scored Leone before Palsi came through with a single to score Cassinelli.
Neither team scored in the ninth to force extra-inning ball. Madden retired the side in order in the top of the 10th before Leone opened the bottom of the inning with a single through the left side and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Matt Cassinelli. Jenkins was intentionally walked to bring up Palsi who to hit a homerun over the left field wall for the walk-off 5-4 win.