|James Gadue||Josh Lydon||Justin Pinckert|
ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. – The University of Scranton baseball team (1-3, 1-3 Landmark) took game one by a score of 8-1 and dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker in game two as they split a doubleheader with the Elizabethtown Blue Jays (3-1, 3-1 Landmark) on Sunday afternoon at Kevin Scott Boyd Stadium.
Junior left-hander James Gadue (West Hartford, Conn./Hall) tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings and the Royals broke the game open with a four-run fifth en route to the 8-1 victory in game one.
Gadue allowed just two hits while walking two and fanning three to earn the victory in what was his first start since April 30, 2019. Sophomore right-hander Daniel Johnson (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Immaculata) worked 2 1/3 IP in relief for the Royals and freshman right-hander Thomas Plunkett (Mamaroneck, N.Y./Mamaroneck) struck out the side in his collegiate debut.
Sophomore Justin Pinckert (Somerville, N.J./Immaculata) provided a couple of big hits offensively for Scranton as he delivered an RBI double in the fourth to open the scoring and brought home a pair with a two-run single in the afore-mentioned fifth inning after junior Tyler Kirsten (Wallenpaupack, Pa./Wallenpaupack Area) delivered an RBI double of his own.
Nicholas Ortega was dealt the loss for the Blue Jays after allowing four runs on four hits in 4 2/3 IP.
The Royals added a run in the sixth and senior Anthony Lambroia (East Northport, N.Y./Commack) extended the lead to 8-0 in the seventh with a two-run single to plate Pinckert and senior Kevin Johnson (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Hunterdon Central).
Pinckert was 2-3 with a double, three RBI, two walks and a run scored in the game, while juniors Jake Lisicky (Whitehall, Pa./Whitehall) and Dan Crossan (Media, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) both reached base twice and scored a pair of runs.
Elizabethtown rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to win the nightcap as Andrew Fisher tied the game with a two-run double and Joey Thomas won the game for the hosts with a walk-off single.
Junior southpaw Ryan Heiser (New Milford, N.J./Saint Joseph Regional) took the loss in relief for Scranton, while Kelly Holdren fanned six in 3 1/3 IP out of the Blue Jays' bullpen to register the win.
The Blue Jays struck first with a run in the second in game two, but the Royals plated three runs in the fourth on the strength of a two-run double from freshman John Zarnowski (East Brunswick, N.Y./St. Joseph's) and Johnson drew a bases-loaded walk to drive home Zarnowski.
Junior righty Josh Lydon (Shavertown, Pa./Dallas) impressed in his first start of the year for Scranton as he allowed one run on three hits to go along with two walks and five strikeouts in five innings of work.
Offensively in game two, senior Connor Harding (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) singled and stole a pair of bases, while Johnson drew a pair of walks, drove in a run and stole a bases.
The Royals will battle Moravian in a four-game series next weekend with a doubleheader in Bethlehem on Saturday before returning home to Volpe Field on Sunday. First pitch of game one on both days is slated for 12:30 p.m.