Zach Leone finished the day 7-for-9 with two doubles, two runs scored and one run batted in including a 4-for-4 effort in the second game as the Susquehanna University Baseball team forced a second championship game Sunday in the Landmark Conference Tournament against Elizabethtown College at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.
Susquehanna (25-19) entered the day with one loss in the tournament and facing possible elimination with the challenge of having to beat Elizabethtown - who was undefeated to that point in the tournament - twice to retain the title of conference champion.
The River Hawks won a tight 5-1 decision in the opener to force a second game to decide the tournament champion but Elizabethtown (27-15) rebounded to post a 6-2 victory in the finale to win the tournament title and the NCAA Tournament automatic bid.
Leone had a great day at the plate with singles in the fourth, sixth and ninth innings of the opener with a pair of runs scored and then was a perfect 4-for-4 at the dish in game two.
In the opener, Elizabethtown scored first but not until the fifth inning before Susquehanna answered with two runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead.
Leone opened the inning with a single to right field and Cory Fallon followed with a single up the middle. Dylan Jenkins put down a sacrifice bunt to put both runners in scoring position and then Cole Luzins connected on a double to left field to plate the two runners and give the River Hawks the lead.
Susquehanna rallied again in the ninth inning to add three insurance runs. With one out in the ninth, Tom Giaimo reached on an error and with two outs Taylor Luckenbill and Leone had back-to-back singles with Leone driving in one run. After Fallon was hit by pitch, Jenkins hit a two-run double to right field to cap the scoring.
In the second championship game, each team scored early in the game with Susquehanna scoring twice in the second inning while Elizabethtown scored single runs in each of the first two innings and took a 4-2 lead with two runs in the third.
The Blue Jays added another run in the fourth and one final run in the eighth for the final score.
The River Hawks threatened in the fifth leaving two runners on including Leone who had doubled and Fallon who followed with a single to center field.
Fallon was 3-for-7 in the two games. In the opener, Ryan Beckwith picked up the pitching win and Liam Conboy worked the final three innings for the save. In the second game, Susquehanna used five pitchers including senior Bobby Klatt who tossed four effective innings of relief allowing one run on three hits with six strike outs.