Sophomore pitcher Nathan Madden allowed two runs on six hits with a complete-game victory as the Susquehanna University Baseball team avoided elimination with a 6-2 victory over Drew University Friday afternoon on the first day of competition at the Landmark Conference Tournament in Washington, DC.
The River Hawks (23-18) needed the victory to stay alive in the double elimination tournament after dropping a 14-6 decision to Elizabethtown to start the day. The River Hawks will face Catholic at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Gallaudet in another elimination game after the Cardinals lost an 8-7 decision to Elizabethtown in a Friday afternoon game.
Against Drew, Susquehanna opened the scoring with a single run in the third inning. With one out Taylor Luckenbill doubled and Zach Leone followed with an infield single to put two runners on. With two outs, Dylan Jenkins singled to left field and Luckenbill was able to score as a result of an error to give the River Hawks a 1-0 lead.
The score remained 1-0 in a good pitching battle until the sventh inning. Danny Gordon connected on a one-out triple and came home on a sacrifice fly by Luckenbill for a 2-0 lead and then Leone made it a 3-0 lead with a solo home run to right centerfield.
After a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the eighth, Susquehanna added three more runs in the bottom of the eighth.
After loading the bases with three of the first four batters, the River Hawks scored the first run of the inning on a passed ball and then Tom Giaimo connected on a two-run single to cap the Susquehanna scoring.
The Ragers rallied to score a pair of runs in the top of the ninth but Madden and the River Hawks got out of the inning to record the win and advance in the tournament.
Cole Luzins was 3-for-4 while Gordon, Leone, Jenkins and Giaimo had two hits each for the River Hawks. In game one, Gordon, Cory Fallon, Leone, Ben Burman and Giaimo each contributed two hits with Giaimo and Fallon added two runs batted in each.