Dylan Jenkins and Zach Leone hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning as the Susquehanna University Baseball team built an early 14-7 lead and then the River Hawks hung on as Messiah tried to come back before Susquehanna posted the 14-12 victory Tuesday afternoon in a non-conference game on Starry Field in Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Susquehanna (18-12 Overall) scored twice in the top of the first inning to take an early lead as the River Hawks scored on a double-steal and an RBI single by Cole Luzins.
Messiah (10-18) scored in the bottom half of the inning to make it 3-1.
The River Hawks looked to open up a lead with three runs in the third as Leone hit a two-run homer followed by a solo shot for Jenkins but the Falcons rallied for five runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 6-6.
Susquehanna outscored Messiah 8-1 over the next two innings with four runs in each the fourth and fifth innings to take the 14-7 lead.
Cory Fallon had an RBI single, Leone hit a run-scoring double and Luzins singled home two more runs with a bases loaded base hit. In the fifth, the River Hawks manufactured three runs before Ben Burman doubled home the 14th run of the game.
Messiah chipped away at the lead with a single run in the sixth, three more in the eighth and threatened again in the ninth with a run but left a pair of runners on base as George Zirkel struck out two of the last three batters he faced for the save.
Four players had three hits each for the River Hawks as Fallon, Burman, Miller and Corrado all had three hits. Fallon and Leone scored three runs each while Leone and Luzins each knocked in three runs.
Sean Rodriguez picked up the win in relief as he allowed a run on two hits and struck out three batters in two innings.
The River Hawks return to Landmark Conference action Saturday and Sunday with a three-game series against Elizabethtown on Bollinger Field in Selinsgrove. The series is scheduled for a 1 p.m. double header Saturday and a single game starting at noon Sunday.