Crusaders Earn Right To Host Baseball Championship
KINGS POINT, N.Y. — Visiting Susquehanna University
clinched the 2009 Landmark Conference regular-season championship
with a 17–5 Landmark win over the United States Merchant
Marine Academy at Lower Roosevelt Field on April 19.
Susquehanna (21–11, 14–4 Landmark) will host the double-elimination conference championships tournament this season at the university’s Harold Bollinger Field in Selinsgrove, Pa., from May 1–3.
Senior outfielder Tyler Reichard (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) exploded against the USMMA (15–10, 8–7 Landmark) in this game with a game-high five runs batted in. Reichard batted 4-for-5 with two walks and two runs. His two-run homerun capped off SU’s game-changing, five-run top of the fourth inning. The Crusaders took a 7–3 lead after the top of the fourth and never trailed nor were tied again. Reichard leads the team in batting average (.429), on-base percentage (.533), slugging percentage (.723), walks (23) and runs (36) this season.
Senior pitcher/outfielder John Lunardi (Exton, Pa./Henderson) scored three runs against the Mariners—the 115th, 116th and 117th runs of his career—which sets a new Susquehanna record. Former record-holder Mike Gerhart scored 114 times for SU from 1992–95. Lunardi batted 3-for-6 in this game with a walk, a stolen base and two RBI.
Teammate and senior infielder Kurt Yannelli (Phoenixville, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) went 2-for-3 with a stolen base, a double, two runs and an RBI. Senior outfielder Kyle Wertman (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) went 2-for-4 with two walks, a steal and a run and was hit by a pitch. Sophomore pitcher/infielder Justin Portzline (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) and junior catcher/outfielder Don Kirkland (Kennett Square, Pa./Unionville) were each 2-for-5 with a walk. Portzline was hit by a pitch, scored a run and drove in two more. Kirkland doubled and scored three times.
SU’s senior infielder Barry Fetter (Middletown, Pa./Middletown Area) walked and scored as part of a 1-for-2 day. Freshman infielder/pitcher Jeff Rezach (Mendham, N.J./West Morris Mendham) was 1-for-3 with two runs. Junior catcher/infielder Chris Price (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Glades) drove in two runs in a 1-for-7 game.
Junior infielder Zack Brigman (Yardville, N.J./Hamilton West) and freshman infielder Ethan Rieker (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Twp.) were both 0-for-1 but scored a run. Brigman was also hit by a pitch twice and had two RBI. Rieker walked and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Almost overlooked were eight strong innings by senior Jason D’Amico (Red Bank, N.J./Rumson–Fair Haven), who earned the pitching win. D’Amico improved to 4–2 this season after allowing eight hits, three walks and five runs while striking out two batters. Junior pitcher/infielder Jeff Kirch (Morristown, N.J./Morristown) finished things off with a scoreless and hitless bottom of the ninth inning.
Story provided by Susquehanna Sports Information