BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Moravian College baseball team swept Landmark Conference rival Susquehanna University in a doubleheader on Sunday. The Greyhounds won the first game 11-1 while taking the second game 8-6.
In the first game of the day, senior pitcher Brendan Close would get the start for Moravian. Sophomore outfielder Ty Raubenstine would start the game with a single for the Crusaders. He then worked his way to third when senior third baseman Ethan Rieker would drive him home with a single up the middle. Close would get the final out by way of the strikeout as Susquehanna has a quick 1-0 lead.
The Greyhounds wouldn't waste any time getting on the board in the bottom of the first as senior shortstop Dave Zubia would get a lead-off double to right field. He then worked his way around the bases to score after a ground out from senior first baseman Kevin O'Keefe.
Close would come back in the top of the second with a 1-2-3 inning off of two ground outs and a fly out.
Senior third baseman Gregg Steinman got on base in the bottom of the second after getting hit by a pitch. Classmate catcher Blake Shortall then hit a single to left field and sophomore outfielder Joseph Connell followed with a walk to load the bases. Zubia then hit a single to the shortstop to score Steinman. O'Keefe followed that up with a two-out double to plate two more runs. Sophomore designated hitter Matthew Gutkes then hit a single through the left side to score two more runs as the Greyhounds took a 6-1 lead after two innings.
Susquehanna would commit two costly errors in the bottom of the third inning that led to two more runs score by Moravian for an 8-2 lead.
O'Keefe would beat out an infield hit for a single and Gutkes followed that with a walk. Senior outfielder Austin Rock then hit a ball off the fence to score O'Keefe. Steinman then hit a grounder to score Gutkes for a 10-1 lead after four innings.
Moravian would add one more run by game's end to win the first game 11-1.
Close won his fifth game of the season after going seven innings while striking out five and allowing one run. Zubia went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored while O'Keefe went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Gutkes went 2-for-3 with two RBIs while Shortall went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Connell scored two runs while freshman outfielder Matt Hanson and Rock both had one hit.
Freshman pitcher Luc Kocher took the loss for Susquehanna after giving up six runs in 1.2 innings. Raubenstine went 1-for-3 with one run scored while Rieker went 2-for-3 with a RBI.
In the second of the doubleheader, sophomore pitcher Robert Solano would get the start for the Greyhounds. Junior first baseman Dan Wing would get a two-out single for Susquehanna and Rieker followed that up with a two-run home run to left field for a quick 2-0 lead.
Junior pitcher Matt Boyd would get the start for the Crusaders. He would walk Zubia to start the contest. Zubia then stole second base. Sophomore second baseman Daniel Seitzinger followed that up with a single to left field. O'Keefe then grounded into a double-play, but Zubia would score.
Susquehanna would add two runs on two hits and a Moravian error in the top of the second for a 4-1 lead.
Hanson would get on base by way of a fielder's choice in the bottom of the second. He then stole second base, and Shortall followed with a RBI single up the middle.
Zubia would get a lead-off single to start the bottom of the third. He then stole second and O'Keefe would drive him home with a single up the middle to make the score 4-3, Susquehanna. O'Keefe then stole second and reached third on a ground out. He then tied the game at four after stealing home plate.
Freshman catcher Mike Recereto would start the fourth for the Crusaders with a lead-off double. Moravian then went to their bullpen, bringing in sophomore pitcher Anthony Perez-Florido. After a sacrifice bunt, junior outfielder Ken Kayama would hit a triple down the right field line to put the Crusaders up 5-4. Freshman second baseman Jared Musilli then drew a walk, and the Greyhounds would bring in senior pitcher Kyle Longernecker would force a double-play ball to get out of the inning.
Freshman pitcher Spencer Hotaling would come in for relief for Susquehanna in the fourth. He would retire the side off a fly out, ground out and strike out.
Connell would get a lead-off single in the fifth. He then stole second and advanced to third on an error by the catcher. Zubia followed with a single up the middle to score Connell and knot the contest at five. Gutkes then hit a two-out single to score Connell as Moravian would retake the lead 6-5.
The Crusaders would tie the game back up at six in the top of the sixth off of one hit and a Moravian error.
Shortall would get a single in the bottom of the sixth with two-outs. Connell followed with another single up the middle, and Zubia would break the tie with a RBI single to center field. Seitzinger added to the score with a single through the left side to put the Hounds up 8-6 going into the final inning.
Longernecker would close out the game in the top of the seventh as Moravian would win 8-6.
Longernecker earned the victory after going 3.2 and not allowing an earned run. Zubia went 3-for-3 with three stolen bases and two RBIs while Seitzinger went 2-for-4 with a RBI. O'Keefe had two stolen bases and a RBI while Shortall went 2-for-3 with a RBI. Connell went 2-for-3 with two runs scored while Gutkes and Steinman each had a hit.
Junior pitcher Brian Wendig took the loss for Susquehanna after giving up two runs in one innings. Rieker went 2-for-4 with two RBIs while Rucereto went 3-for-3 with three runs scored.
Moravian returns to action on Tuesday, April 3rd as they take on Elizabethtown College in a non-conference game. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. at Gillispie Field.