BY RACHEL WHERRY – STAFF WRITER
The Susquehanna baseball team completed a three-game sweep over the Juniata Eagles after winning both games in the doubleheader on Saturday, March 26.
The Crusaders’ wins over Juniata extended their overall record to 12-7 with an undefeated 6-0 record in Landmark Conference play. After sweeping both Drew and Juniata in the season’s first conference matchups, the Crusaders are confident in their lineup and abilities.
“We try not to look past the next weekend, because anything can happen, especially in baseball,” sophomore centerfielder Zach Leone said.
In the first game of the afternoon, Susquehanna defeated the Eagles 12-4. Junior John Cooley earned the win putting in six innings of work and striking out eight. Senior Matt Cassinelli led the Crusaders’ offense going 3-5 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored. Senior teammate Justin Cassinelli contributed with one RBI and two runs scored of his own. Senior Josh Cimino and Leone both went 2-4 at the plate with one RBI each.
Down 2-0 at the start of the second inning, a single up the middle by senior Bryan Palsi plated Matt Cassinelli, putting Susquehanna within one point of Juniata. A single by Leone that scored Justin Cassinelli at the top of the third tied the game up 2-2 and got the ball rolling for the Crusaders.
Susquehanna followed up with five more runs within the third inning, giving them a 7-2 lead over the Eagles.
Juniata responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Crusaders scored three more unanswered runs in the final two innings to earn the win while holding the Eagles to just 3-9 at the plate with no runs scored.
Susquehanna took game two of the doubleheader 7-2, with sophomore Cole Luzins earning the complete game win. Justin Cassinelli led the team going 3-3 at the plate with one RBI, one run scored and a double. Leone went 2-3 with a RBI, two runs scored and a double while junior teammate Dylan Jenkins was 2-4 at the plate contributing two RBIs and a triple.
The game remained scoreless until the top of the third when a double to center field by Justin Cassinelli plated junior Tom Shields. Justin Cassinelli then scored off a Leone single, shortly followed by two RBIs from Jenkins to put the Crusaders in the lead 4-0.
Juniata scored two runs in the fourth inning, but they would be their only points on the scoreboard throughout the remainder of the game. At the top of the sixth, the Crusaders scored two more runs and one again in the seventh to finish with a 7-2 win over the Eagles.
Leone said. “If we can continuously tap into this confidence, throughout the year, the team will succeed.”
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