BY KEVIN JONES, STAFF WRITER
Susquehanna was trailing 9-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning against Merchant Marine March 23.
Susquehanna’s offense scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh and three in the eighth to take the lead. Merchant Marine tied the game in the ninth, but Susquehanna held on and won the game 11-10 in the 15th inning.
The win was Susquehanna’s 13th straight victory. A day earlier on March 22, the team swept a double-header against Merchant Marine,7-3 and 2-1.
In game one, the scoring started for Susquehanna early with a five-run second inning.
The top three batters in Susquehanna’s line were 3-for-9 but drove in three runs in the game.
In the top of the third, Merchant Marine scored three runs to get back in the game, but with a run in the bottom of the inning and another in the bottom of the sixth, Susquehanna held on for the victory.
The second game of the double header was dominated by pitching.
Susquehanna junior starter Casey Hood pitched six innings, giving up one run on four hits and striking out two.
Senior closer Matt Smith threw a perfect seventh inning to secure the win.
Smith finished his perfect frame with a strikeout.
Sophomore second baseman Dylan Glassmire provided the needed offense in the bottom of the sixth inning when he singled into right field, scoring junior shortstop Nick Kennedy and breaking a 1-1 tie.
In the third game of the series, the Crusaders won, 11-10, in 15 innings. Susquehanna’s starting pitcher in the game, junior Spencer Hotaling, pitched 5.2 innings and gave up six runs on eight hits.
At the top of the order, senior outfielder and leadoff hitter Ty Raubenstine was 3-for-8, drove in two runs and scored four times. Behind him was freshman outfielder Taylor Luckenbill, who was 5-for-8 in the game, drove in four runs and scored twice.
In the ninth inning, Susquehanna was up by a run and Smith was on the mound. Merchant Marine tied the game in the ninth, but Smith stayed in the game for four more innings, giving the Crusaders a chance to win the game.
Smith said he did not expect to pitch five innings against Merchant Marine, but was more than willing to do it once the game went into extras.
“As soon as we lost the lead, there was no way I was going out until we won,” Smith said.
Smith has been sharp all season. He has a 1.26 ERA along with seven saves in nine appearances with 14 strikeouts this season.
Despite being one away from the school record of eight saves, Smith said that the record does not mean a lot to him and he just is doing his part to help the team win.
“We’re finally playing as a team this season,” Smith said. “In previous years we were defeated easily, but our team has some fight this year.”
Susquehanna coach Denny Bowers said that the team has yet to hit its peak.
“I don’t think we’ve reached our peak. Once we limit our mistakes, we will be even better,” Bowers said.