Errors Cost Royal Opportunity To Sweep Susquehanna Sunday Afternoon At Connell Park

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SCRANTON, Pa.—The University of Scranton was one out away from taking the first two games of a three-game Landmark Conference series against Susquehanna University Sunday afternoon at Connell Park.

Instead, the Royals had to settle for a split, dropping the nightcap, 4-2, in eight innings.  The big blow was delivered by Ethan Rieker (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township), who hit a two-run home run to center field in the top of the eighth inning after the Crusaders took advantage of two errors and a passed ball to erase a 2-1 deficit in the seventh.

Senior pitcher Andy Hergan (Bloomsburg, Pa./Central Columbia) came on in relief with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and earned the win by striking out two of the five batters he faced.  Despite a no decision, tarting pitcher Matt Boyd (Camp Hill, Pa./Camp Hill) turned in a solid effort, striking out eight and scattering six hits while not allowing an earned run in 6 and 2/3 innings.

The Crusaders took an early 1-0 lead on a solo home run by senior Erik Tuomisto (Northumberland, Pa./Shikellamy) in the second inning.

The Royals took advantage of Suquehanna's only error of the game to grab a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third, as seniors Chris Velazquez (Pomona, N.Y./Albertus Magnus) and Joe Amicucci (Pomona, N.Y./Albertus Magnus) each hit a single and came around to score when the Crusaders dropped an infield pop-up with two outs.

Despite taking the loss, Scranton sophomore pitcher Robert Della Polla (Havertown, Pa./St. Joseph's Preparatory) went 7 and 1/3 innings and struck out seven and did not issue a walk.  Della Polla has now gone at least 5 and 2/3 innings in each of his four starting assignments this year.

In the opener, the Royals got another solid pitching effort, this time from junior Rocky Sawyer (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty), who struck out five and allowed only two earned runs in six innings of work in a 6-5 victory.  Sawyer finally got some support on the offensive end after allowing just one earned run in each of his last two outings, both of which resulted in losses.

Senior David Giglio (Wallingford, Conn./Xavier) delivered two key hits, driving in two runs during a three-run rally in the first and knocking in two more with a two-run double in the fifth.

Still, the Crusaders made things interesting trailing 6-3 entering the seventh.  With two outs and a runner on first, freshman Dan Wing hit a two-run home run off Royal reliever Corey Gorman (Laflin, Pa./Coughlin) to cut the margin to one.  Sophomore Matt Mosko (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) relieved Gorman and earned his second save of the season by inducing Crusader sophomore Ken Kayama (Koto-Ku, Japan/Solebury {Pa.}) to fly out to right field.

The series will conclude with a 9-inning game Monday afternoon at Connell Park beginning at 3:30 p.m.