BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Moravian College baseball team fell to Landmark Conference rival Susquehanna University, 5-4, Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore pitcher Thomas Mariano would start the game for Moravian. He would get the first batter to fly out, and then freshman shortstop Nick Kennedy would hit a double down the left field line for the Crusaders. After an error by the shortstop, junior first baseman Dan Wing would reach base. Senior outfielder Ethan Rieker would get Susquehanna on the board first with a sacrifice fly to center field. Mariano would strikeout the last batter of the inning to keep the score at 1-0.
Freshman pitcher Zach Place would get the nod for the Crusaders. He would allow one base runner of an error, but would get out of the inning with the 1-0 lead intact.
Susquehanna would get back-to-back singles from sophomore outfielder Alex Miskovsky and classmate catcher Nick Testo in the top of the second. Mariano would strand the runners on base and get out of the inning with a strikeout.
Sophomore second baseman Daniel Seitzinger would get the Greyhounds in the hit column in the bottom of the third with a single. Place would keep the score at 1-0 after stranding Seitzinger.
Mariano would pitch a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fourth off a strikeout, ground out and fly out.
Senior outfielder Austin Rock would get on base after an error by the shortstop in the bottom of the fourth. He then worked his way to third after a passed ball and ground out. Freshman outfielder Matt Hanson then drove Rock home with a single up the middle. Senior catcher Blake Shortall then got on base after an error by the shortstop as Hanson went to third on the play. Senior shortstop Dave Zubia followed that up with a RBI single up the middle to give Moravian a 2-1 lead after four innings.
Rieker would knot the game back at two for Susquehanna after a home run to left field in the top of the sixth.
Zubia would start the bottom of the seventh with a single to the first baseman. He then reached third after a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch. Senior first baseman Kevin O'Keefe would break the tie with single up the middle to score Zubia. Sophomore designated hitter Mattew Gutkes then drove home O'Keefe with a single to center field to put Moravian up 4-2. The Crusaders would then go to the bullpen as freshman pitcher Spencer Hotaling would come in. He would force a double-play to get out of the inning.
Wing would get a two-out single in the top of the eighth for the Crusaders. Sophomore Greg Stellon would come in to pinch-run for him. Rieker followed with a double down the left field line and would advance to third on the throw. After a wild pitch, Rieker would come home to knot the contest at four.
Sophomore pitcher Benjamin Hammel would start the ninth for the Greyhounds. Freshman outfielder Kyle Semmel would start the top of the ninth with a lead-off double to right center. He would then be sacrifice bunted over to third base. Freshman second baseman Jared Musilli would break the tie with a seeing-eye single through the right side to score Semmel. That's all that Hammel would give up as a pop-up and strikeout would get him out of the inning.
Sophomore pitcher Matt Smith would come in for the save for Susquehanna. He would get a 1-2-3 inning off of two grounds out and a strikeout as the Crusaders would win 5-4.
Mariano went eight innings while striking out seven and giving up three earned runs. Hammel took the loss after going one innings and giving up one run. Zubia led the way with one RBI while going 2-for-5. Hanson went 1-for-3 with a RBI and a run while Gutkes went 1-for-4 with one RBI. O'Keefe had one hit, one run and one RBI while Seitzinger had one hit on the day.
Hotaling earned the win for Susquehanna after going 1.2 innings while Smith earned his third save. Place went 6.1 innings while giving up four runs. Rieker went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored while Musilli went 1-for-4 with one RBI. Semmel had one hit and one run while Miskovsky went 2-for-3.
Moravian returns to action tomorrow as they finish the three-game series versus Susquehanna in a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 12 p.m.