WASHINGTON - The second seeded Susquehanna University baseball team posted an 11-4 win over third seed The Catholic University of America in the second game of the opening day of the 2014 Landmark Conference Tournament at Moravian College's Gillespie Field Saturday.
Catholic, now 21-18, will play the first elimination contest at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when freshman designated hitter Paul Burmester connected on an RBI single to left field that scored freshman center fielder Brett Padula who had started the game with an infield single to third base.
Susquehanna tied the game in the bottom of the second inning when sophomore third baseman Bryan Palsi tripled over the right fielder's head to start the frame and scored on an RBI ground out by freshman first baseman Dylan Jenkins.
The Crusaders moved in front, 2-1, in the third inning when junior left fielder Jared Musilli scored on a bases loaded double play grounder by freshman Taylor Luckenbill.
Catholic moved back in front, 3-2, with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning. Junior second baseman Nick Clary led off with a bunt single, and he tied the game when he scampered home on a Susquehanna throwing error. Junior catcher Mike McFarland connected on a two-out RBI single to chase junior shortstop Dan Hinchcliff, who had reached on the error, across the plate.
Susquehanna tied the contest again in the bottom of the fourth when junior designated hitter Kyle Semmel led odd with a single and scored on a two-out RBI single down the left field line by Musilli.
The Crusaders pulled back in front, 6-3, with three runs in the home half of the fifth inning. Senior center fielder Ty Raubenstine led off the inning and scored on an RBI single by sophomore second baseman Dylan Glassmire. Palsi followed with a two-run homer to right center field that hit the top of the six-foot fence and bounced over for the round-tripper.
Susquehanna added three more runs to make its lead 9-3 in the sixth inning. Glassmire drove in a pair of runs with a two-RBI single to left center over a drawn in infield, and Semmel followed with an RBI single toward the left field line.
Catholic got a run back in the top of the seventh when sophomore right fielder John Palladino beat out an infield single to shortstop for an RBI to score Padula.
The Crusaders answered right back in the bottom of the seventh to make the lead six runs again when junior shortstop Nick Kennedy hit an RBI sacrifice fly that scored sophomore catcher Rob Marcickiewicz.
Susquehanna pushed the lead to 11-4 in the bottom of the eighth when Palsi doubled to center field with two outs and scored on an RBI single to right field by Semmel.
The Crusaders had a 17-11 advantage in hits with Semmel going 4-for-5. Palsi was 3-for-4 and missing hitting for the cycle by not having a single. Raubenstine was also 3-for-4 for Susquehanna while Glassmire was 2-for-4, Marcickiewicz was 2-for-5 and Kennedy went 2-for-3. Padula led Catholic at the plate with a 3-for-5 game while Palladino was 2-for-3 and sophomore left fielder Stefan Poggioli was 2-for-4.
Junior Spencer Hotaling improved to 4-3 on the mound for Susquehanna with the complete game victory He allowed four runs, just one of them earned, on 11 hits and no walks while striking out eight batters.
Senior Andrew Carroll took the loss for the Cardinals after giving up six runs on eight hits and two walks to go with two strikeouts in 4.1 innings of action. Sophomore Sean Van Gieson tossed 1.2 innings with three runs on six hits and a strikeout while sophomore Ian Moss pitched the final two innings with two runs on three hits with one strikeout.