Port Charlotte, Fla. – The University of Scranton and Susquehanna split a Landmark Conference baseball doubleheader in Florida on Friday as the team's opened their conference slates. The Royals (3-6, 1-1 Landmark) won Friday's opener 12-7 in 10 innings before the River Hawks (2-6, 1-1 Landmark) took the nightcap, 17-4.
In Friday's opener, Scranton scored five runs on six hits in the top of the 10th inning to defeat Susquehanna 12-7.
Scranton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning of Friday's opener on an RBI single from junior Brandon Peters (Peckville, Pa./Valley View), but Susquehanna scored four runs on three hits and one error in the bottom of the frame to claim a 4-1 lead.
The Royals pulled to within one at 4-3 with runs in the second and third innings, driven in on base hits from junior Travis Adams (Clark, N.J./St. Joseph's Metuchen) and freshman Chris Wagner (Westfield, N.J./Westfield) before the River Hawks scored in the home fourth to make it a 5-3 ball game.
Senior Ian McIntosh (Newtown, Pa./LaSalle College H.S.) came home on a wild pitch in the visitor's fifth to again pull Scranton to within a run, but Susquehanna restored their two-run edge by taking advantage of another error by the Royals in the home fifth.
The Royals rallied with three runs in the top of the sixth as sophomore Connor Harding (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) drove in a pair with a triple before scoring the go-ahead run on base hit off the bat of junior Kevin Haag (Ossining, N.Y./Ossining/Bridgton Academy (Maine)).
The River Hawks sent the game to extra-innings with a run in the bottom of the seventh, but the Royals would prevail with the big 10th inning effort.
Adams drove in the eventual game-winning run with a triple while Harding, McIntosh, freshman Tyler Kirsten (Wallenpaupack, Pa./Wallenpaupack Area), and junior Matt Fisch (Spring Brook Township, Pa./North Pocono) also drove in runs in the decisive inning.
Senior Bryan Carmon (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central) earned the win on the mound for Scranton, tossing the final five innings and surrendering just one run on six hits while picking up one strikeout.
Harding had a huge game at the plate, going 4-for-6 and finishing a home run shy of the cycle, while racking up three RBI and three runs scored. Haag and Peters added three hits apiece while Fisch, Adams, and sophomore Kevin Johnson (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Hunterdon Central) added two hits each.
For the game, the Royals outhit the River Hawks by a 21-12 margin.
In Friday's nightcap, Scranton took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Susquehanna answered with four runs in their first at-bats and scored 17 of the final 18 runs of the contest on their way to a 17-4 victory to split the doubleheader.
The Royals' early three-run advantage came courtesy of an RBI single from Haag, an error by the River Hawks, and a sacrifice fly from Peters.
Susquehanna responded with a four-run first and added six more in the second to claim a 10-3 lead.
Peters connected on an RBI double in the visitor's third to cut Scranton's deficit to six runs, but the River Hawks tacked on three runs in the fourth inning before closing out the scoring with a four-run sixth inning.
Haag went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI while Peters drove in a pair of runs for the Royals in the loss.
The River Hawks outhit the Royals 22-4 in the game two victory.
Scranton and Susquehanna will close out their season series with a single game on Saturday starting at 11:30 a.m. in Port Charlotte. The nine-inning contest will be the Royals' final contest of its spring break trip to the Sunshine State.