Baseball takes talents to Puerto Rico for spring break showdowns

BY KEVIN JONES – ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

While most students were relaxing enjoying Spring Break, Susquehanna’s baseball team traveled to Puerto Rico for a series of exhibition games to prepare for the season. Susquehanna had a 5-4 record in this series from March 6 through March 13.

Susquehanna coach Denny Bowers said that he felt the team hit the ball well enough to win, but the pitching needed to be a little more consistent.

“All in all we played pretty [well],” Bowers said. “We need to be more consistent at throwing strikes and not giving up free baserunners.”

The series started off on the wrong foot on March 6 with Susquehanna losing 14-6 against Arcadia. The difference in the game was an eight-run seventh inning for Arcadia. Things went better for Susquehanna on March 8 when they had a pair of 2-1 victories against Misericordia’s varsity and junior varsity teams.

Susquehanna did not have as much luck the next day losing two games against Keen, 5-4 and 8-3. On a more positive note Susquehanna ended their trip to Puerto Rico on a three-game win streak beating SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Canton and Arcadia 13-5, 4-1 and 6-4 respectively on March 11, 12 and 13.

On March 12, Susquehanna beat Canton 4-1. Canton was the first team to score with a RBI single from Travis Schindler driving in Jeremy Baez. Susquehanna came back with a vengeance in the fifth inning scoring four runs.

The last half of the fifth inning started with a strikeout followed by a trio of singles from senior right fielder Justin Cassinelli, senior center fielder Taylor Luckenbill and sophomore designated hitter Zach Leon.

Senior third baseman Bryan Palsi, junior first baseman Dylan Jenkins and sophomore catcher Tom Giaimo each had an RBI Single. The final run of the inning came on a wild pitch.

Susquehanna’s pitching staff did not allow another run and was able to hang on for the win.

Bowers talked about his teams never give up spirit.

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“Our competitive nature stands out,” Bowers said. “We’ve been down early in a lot of games and have battled back. We have a pretty resilient group.”

Susquehanna’s starting pitcher, junior Cory Fallon, had a strong outing, pitching seven innings and giving up one run on nine hits, capturing his second win of the season. In his outing, Fallon struck out seven batters and walked two. In the two innings of shutout relief for Susquehanna, a pair of pitchers gave up two hits and walked a batter to hold on for the win.

Fallon was happy about his performance, especially after his start earlier in the week. “I threw really well,” Fallon said. “The first start of the week didn’t go well.”

Fallon said that his personal goal this season was to do all he could to help the team win a landmark championship.

Fallon also talked about what he was looking forward to in the upcoming season.

“I’m looking forward to enjoying the game that I love with my teammates, trying to enjoy the game and having a lot of fun,” Fallon said.

Although Fallon is a junior, this is his first season as a pitcher, according to Bowers. Previously Fallon played as an infielder.

“He came out in the fall and pitched well. Through the fall and winter, he proved he was someone we can lean on. He keeps us in the games he pitches,” Bowers said.

Bowers also talked about how he was looking forward to getting the team back on the field to face some competition. Lucky for Bowers, Susquehanna will not have to wait long for another game facing off against Drew on the road in a three game series on March 19 and 20.