Lunardi tosses perfect game

More news about: Susquehanna
John Lunardi (left), pictured with Head Coach Denny Bowers (right) needed just 82 pitches for his seven-inning perfect game.
Susquehanna photo by Robert Healy III

Senior pitcher/outfielder John Lunardi from Exton, Pa. pitched a perfect game 1, literally, as Susquehanna swept visiting Drew , 9-0, 12-5, in a Landmark Conference doubleheader at Harold Bollinger Field on March 28. This was the the first since March 30, 2008 when Roger Williams sophomore Dan Roberge pitched a perfect game against Wentworth.

"It's definitely the first perfect game, or no-hitter for that matter, that I've ever thrown," said Lunardi. "Ever.

"I started thinking about it around the fifth inning when I realized that I hadn't pitched from the stretch yet. But other than that it felt just like a regular game. People weren't afraid to talk to me in the dugout or anything, but they certainly didn't mention the perfect game."

Lunardi improved to 4-0 this season and lowered his Landmark-leading earned run average to 0.67. He has pitched three complete games, including two shutouts, and has struck out 25 batters in 27 innings, including seven strikeout victims today. Opponents are batting just .147 against him this year.

Almost overlooked was impressive hitting by Susquehanna, led by Tyler Reichard, who hit two solo home runs. Kyle Wertman's two-out grand slam to left field in the bottom of the sixth inning put an exclamation point on the game, pushing the score to 9-0. Wertman and Zack Brigman finished the game with two hits. Barry Fetterhad three hits on the day for the Crusaders.

In the top of the seventh inning, Lunardi took care of business. With two outs, he induced a ground ball to Fetter stationed at shortstop at the time. Fetter fielded the ball cleanly and slung it over to first base for the final out. Just 1 hour, 51 minutes since the game started it was over and the Crusaders bench then emptied onto the field and engulfed Lunardi.