Kings Point, NY - On a bitterly cold afternoon the USMMA baseball team dropped a pair of games to Susquehanna Sunday afternoon at Lower Roosevelt Field. The Mariners stranded 10 runners in an 8-7 loss in game two of the double header after closing a 7-1 deficit by scoring six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Crusaders broke open the first game of the double dip, which was tied at 2-2, with a seven run sixth inning that included nine hits.
Susquehanna (5-9, 2-1 Landmark) broke onto the scoreboard first in game one with an unearned run in the top of the third. The Mariners answered right back in their half of the inning as Andrew MacKinnon (Buffalo, NY) singled through the left side of the infield to bring home Joseph Policastro (Hauppauge, NY). The Crusaders made it a 2-1 affair in the top of the fourth before Nicholas Kopacka (Saugus, CA) lined a single off the pitcher for a RBI single, tying the game again at 2-2. However, Susquehanna's big inning put the game out of reach as the Crusaders got a complete game performance from starting pitcher Spencer Hotaling in a 9-3 victory.
Merchant Marine (3-6, 1-2 Landmark) leveled the second game of the double header, 1-1, with a two-out rally in the bottom of the first inning on a double from Warren Hartmann (Wyckoff, NJ) followed by a RBI single off the bat of Danny Collins (Sleepy Hollow, NY). The Crusaders offense continued to roll and posted three runs in both the second and third innings. Dylan Glassmire capped the Susquehanna spurt with a three-run homer over the right field wall.
The Mariners fourth inning rally began with a Jake Martin (San Diego, CA) single followed with back-to-back free passes issued to Kopacka and Jacob Wood (Richmond, VA). Nicholas Dimas (Keller, TX) brought in the first marker with a perfectly placed single down the right field line. Policastro rolled into a 6-4-3 double play that did make it 7-3. However, the hits would continue with two-outs on consecutive doubles from MacKinnon and Hartmann, closing the deficit to 7-5.
Collins reached on an infield single and the bases were loaded following a Cameron Stadele (Alpharetta, GA) walk. Martin returned to the plate and slashed a ball up the middle of the diamond for a RBI single. However, the Crusaders shortstop made a diving play to keep the ball on the infield but threw the ball wide of first base, allowing the tying run to scamper home.
Nick Ferlise put Susquehanna back on top, 8-7, by taking the first pitch of the top of the fifth inning over the fence in right field for a solo homerun. From there, both bullpens took over as no reliever allowed a run. USMMA got 2.2 scoreless innings from Chris O'Donnell (Daytona Beach, FL) and two shutout frames from Collins.
USMMA got the leadoff batter and tying run on in the bottom of the ninth after Martin was hit by a 2-1 offering. However, pinch runner Hunter Titus (Granbury, TX) was thrown out stealing for the first out. The Mariners would not record another hit as Matt Smith picked up his third save of the year while Tyler Della Badia earned his first win of 2013.
The USMMA baseball team returns to action Wednesday for a non-conference double header at Staten Island.