Drew sweeps both SU tennis teams

By Mel Barracato, Staff writer

The Susquehanna Men’s tennis team fell to Drew Uni- versity on Sunday, April 23, with a final tally of 7-2 after having also fallen to Scranton the day before with a final score of 9-0.

Sophomore Nicholas Meale was the only one to get two wins on the weekend as he won a singles match at the No. 5 position against Drew.

After dropping the first match 6-4, Meale bounced back to win the second set 6-3 and went on to win the tie-breaker at 10-5.

Meale paired with sophomore Ashton Collins to provide a doubles win at No. 3 also on Sunday. They posted an 8-3 decision for Susquehanna.

The River Hawks are now 8-8 on the season with a 1-5 conference record. Their final regular season and conference game will be held at home in Selinsgrove against Juniata on Tuesday, May 2 in a makeup match.

Traditionally, the River Hawks struggle when playing Juniata. Over the past five matchups between the two teams, Juniata has won all five of them, including four 9-0 vic- tories over Susquehanna.

The team will try and reverse those fortunes on Tuesday.

The weekend went about the same for the women’s team as they also fell 9-0 to Scranton on Saturday and 8-1 against Drew on Sunday.

Sophomore Eliza Griffin won at No. 4 in singles for the River Hawks in their only victory for the weekend. She won 6-4 and 7-5 in the decision.

Griffin teamed up with sophomore Cassey Fox for a round of doubles, but the pair dropped a close doubles match with the final score of 8-4.

Freshman Amy Jennings lost a close match with a final score of 7-6 in her singles matchup against Scranton, then winning 7-5 and then finally losing 6-3 in the third set to finish the day on Saturday.

On April 26, the women’s team concluded their season with a close 5-4 decision against Juniata.

Griffin, Fox, and junior Linsey Sipple each fought their way to singles victories for the River Hawks.

Griffin and Fox also teamed up to get the first win of the day in the no. 1 doubles spot, 8-4.

The Eagles rallied for four- straight wins to give them a 4-1 lead, but with help from Sipple and Griffin at the no. 4 singles spot, the River Hawks tied at 4-4. Juniata went on to win the no. 5 spot to close out the win.

The River Hawks finish their season at 6-11 overall and 0-7 in conference play.

Congratulations to the team on a great season.

African-born player plays in MLB

By Alex Kurtz, Sports Editor

“He’s representing 1.62 billion people. He’s one of them, 1.62 billion,” Pirates infielder Jordy Mercer said.

Holding back tears, Gift Ngoepe, an infielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, quietly made history last night as he became the first African-born player to play a game in the MLB.

Ngoepe, a minor-leager for the past nine seasons and a South African native, was called up Wednesday after the Pirates optioned reliever Dovydas Neverauskas to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Neverauskas, who is from Lithuania, became the second Luthuanian to appear in an MLB game on Tuesday.

In the Pirates’ 6-5 win over the reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs, Ngoepe finished the game with a hit and a walk

His hit came in his first at bat of the game and his MLB career, where he hit a ground-ball single up the middle off of Cubs ace Jon Lester.

“I thought about where I’ve come from, making the jour- ney from South Africa to pursue my dream of playing in the major leagues someday. I thought about the struggles of being in the minor leagues for eight and a half years and then to finally get up here and get a hit in my first at-bat. The whole thing was just awesome. That is the only word I can think of to describe it. It was awesome,” Ngoepe said in an interview with ESPN after the game.

The energy in the dugout and stadium increased dramati- cally when Pirates manager Clint Hurdle pulled an unusually early double switch, and Ngoepy was brought in to play second base.

After his first hit in the big leagues, Ngoepe earned his first career walk and he was part of the last play of the game as he helped turn the game-ending double play for the Pirates.

“It shows that you don’t have to be from a big country like the United States to reach your dream of making it to the major leagues. Dovydas is from Europe. I’m from Africa. Baseball is not a popular sport, but if you work hard enough and dream a little bit, anything is possible,” Ngoepe said prior to the game.

Now that the first African-born player has played, fans are look- ing out for who will be the second. Currently, that spot looks like it will be taken from Seattle Mariners’ prospect Dylan Unsworth, who is also from South Africa.

Unsworth, a pitcher, currently plays for Double-A Arkansas, and has been in the team’s minor league system for eight years.

Normally that is a long-time for a player to be in the system, but Unsworth, 24, is using the time to grow as he had much less experience than players growing up in the Americas and in Japan.

“You get better in baseball by playing it daily. Baseball is a game you play every single day. In South Africa, you’re only playing on Saturday, and that’s it. You train Tuesday and train Thursday and then you play Saturday, and that’s the only baseball you have,” Unsworth said in an interview with ESPN.

Unsworth does not throw hard. His fastball sits around 87-89 mph, but his control is incredible. In his first pro season, he walked only one batter in 50 and 1/3 in- nings pitched.

This Spring, Unsworth returned to action for the Arizona Fall League, where he finished with 4-1 record and a 3.00 ERA.

With a African-born player now in the MLB and one rising through the ranks, the door is open for a new wave of talent.

SU’s Golf year closes with bouts

By Akshay Kripalani, Staff writer

Both Men’s and Women’s golf ended the 2016-2017 sea- son on Saturday, April 22.

The Men’s Golf team competed at the National Invitational Tournament at the Glenmaura National Golf Club in Moosic, Pennsylvania, while the Women’s golf team competed at the Centennial Conference Championship Tournament at the Fox Chase Golf Club in Stevens, Pennsylvania.

The men’s team came in eighth out of 12 teams. The women’s team finished seventh in the championship.

In the men’s match, everyone played well but there was one player who came out on top for the River Hawks. That play- er was junior Connor White, who finished in 24th place. He finished with a two-day score 13-over par with a score of 155.

Next for the River Hawks was senior Matthew Schaffner, who finished in a tie for 29th place with a two-day score of 159. Junior Rob Johnson fin- ished third out the River Hawks scoring with a score of 177 which tied for 51st place.

On the women’s side, the team had a strong showing, but one player shined for the River Hawks: freshman Michelle Davidson, who had seven pars at the event. She finished in 19th place with a two-day score of 183 points and 39-over par.

“The greens were fast on both days, although the first day was harder because it was raining,” Davidson said. Davidson was able to birdie number nine, which was considered to be one of the toughest holes on the course for both days.

“I hit my driver to the left- side of the fairway so I would have a better approach shot and I was able to hit a wedge shot after that to about eight feet away from the pin. After that I was able to hit the birdie putt,” Davidson said.

Sophomore Samantha Thompson came in 23rd position, freshman Kira Hunter came in 30th and senior Jocelyn Tamayo was 32nd for the River Hawks.

Sarah Hanson from Gettysburg was the Centenial Con- ference tournament champion with a six-over par 150.

Gettysburg also won the team title on the day and Mc- Daniel came in second.

Dickinson finished in fourth, Ursinus in fifth, Franklin & Marshall in sixth and finally Susquehanna in seventh place.

Congratulations to both Men’s and Women’s Golf for a great season.

River Hawks beat foe Elizabethtown

By Andrew Porzio, Staff writer

The Susquehanna softball team pushed their record to 8-2 in conference play after they swept Elizabethtown College in a two game series on Saturday in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.

The River Hawks, winners of nine of the last 12 games, came into the day with a 6-2 record in landmark conference play looking to clinch a playoff spot for the eighth year in a row.

In game one, senior pitcher Jamie Fesinstine threw a com- plete game, and struck out seven in the River Hawks 5-2 win.

In the second inning, with Susquehanna down 1-0, the River Hawks scored on a pair of singles by juniors short stop Heather Pearson and left fielder Leigh Ann Greenwald to take a 2-1 lead.

In the third inning, sophomore first baseman Jackie Gore hit a bomb over the fence for the only homerun of the day and extended Susquehanna’s lead to 3-1.

A Greenwald sacrifice fly and a single by junior third basemen Emilie Boman capped the scoring for the River Hawks in the fourth inning and pushed their lead to 5-1.

The Blue Jays would add a run in the bottom of the sixth inning, but it would not be enough as the River Hawks held on for the victory.

In game two the River Hawks scored in the first and the fifth innings for the only runs of the contest and would go on to win 2-0 to complete the sweep and clinch a spot in the Landmark Conference playoffs.

Boman went 2-3 with Greenwald and junior short stop Brooke Kohler scoring the two runs for Susquehanna.

Sophomore pitcher Alexa Gonzalez got the start on the mound for the River Hawks in game two. She gave up seven hits, a walk, and struck out one over 5 1/3 innings work. Fesinstine came out in relief to throw no-hit ball over the final 1 1/3 innings to earn the save and seal the 2-0 win for the River Hawks.

The save was Fesinstine’s third of the season and sixth of her career which breaks the school record for career saves set by alumna Morgan Lewis, who recorded five saves in her career.

On Wednesday, the River Hawks also split a two game series against Wilkes.

Susquehanna took home the first game 15-5, but dropped the second game 8-1.

Kohler and Boman combined for a perfect 7-for-7 at the plate.

In game one, the River Hawks led from the start and never looked back.

In the sixth inning, Kohler got an RBI, and then Boman drilled an RBI double down the right field line to score two more runs for the River Hawks. In the seventh, Susquehanna added five more runs.

In game two, the team only managed to get one run and five hits from five different players.

The River Hawks return home next weekend where they will face Drew in a Landmark Conference double header on April 29.

SU Ultimate team gets first-ever regional bid

By Alex Kurtz, Sports editor

On April 15 and April 16, Susquehanna’s men’s ultimate frisbee team competed in the Conference tournament, earn- ing the No.3 seed as well as a bid to the regional tournament.

It had been a long time coming for the team, who came up one game short of making the regional tournament last year. This will be the farthest the team has ever made it.

“It’s a huge accomplishment to make the regional tournament,” said senior captain and handler Justus Sturtevant. “This has been my goal since sophomore year.”

The conference tournament, which took place in Carlisle, Pa, featured four pool-play games on Saturday and a championship bracket on Sunday.

Susquehanna started strong, defeating Alleghany College and Gettysburg College to jump out to a 2-0 start.

Sturtevant spearheaded the effort, alongside junior co- captain Andrew Davis.

The third game of the day pitted Susquehanna against Shippensburg, a school that made the transition from DI to DIII Ultimate the previous year.

Shippensburg jumped out to a quick lead, forcing quick Susquehanna turnovers and playing a physical game.

Things only got worse for Susquehanna when Sturtevent took an elbow to the face, leaving him needing stitches and unable to play for the rest of the day.

Shippensburg went on to win 15-3.

Sturtevant’s absence was felt in the final game, as Susque- hanna fell to Bucknell, finishing pool play with a 2-2 record.

Needing to win all three games on Sunday to earn the final bid to regionals, the team faced an uphill battle.

In the first game of the bracket, Susquehanna found themselves in a rematch againt Alleghany, and again found a way to win. Sophomore cutter Parker Schoch contributed on both sides of the disc.

The team rode the momentum into the second game of the day, a matchup with rival-squad Dickinson.

Sophomore cutter Nick Forbes came up with four points for Susquehanna en route to a 15-9 victory.

The long schedule took it’s toll on to the team, but with one win away from their first-ever regional bid, the team fought through the pain.

Susquehanna barely edged out Gettysburg in a rematch, with Forbes finding junior Kevin Grzybeck for the final point of the day, and the tournament.

The team now prepares to face some of the best teams in the nation in Allentown, Pa, on April 29 and April 30.

Luckenbill wins weekend series on go-ahead RBI-single

By Kirsten Hatton, Staff writer

The Susquehanna Baseball team took two of three games in a weekend series against Elizabethtown on April 22-23.

Senior second baseman Danny Gordon was the hero for the River Hawks in game one, as his bottom of the eighth RBI single gave the team the come from behind win with a score of 5-4.

The first game of the day was scoreless until Elizabethtown got on the board in the top of the third inning with an RBI triple. The Blue Jays made the score 2-0 with a home run in the top of the fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth, Gordon hit into a double play with no outs and the bases loaded to score sophomore third baseman Ben Burman and cut the lead to one run.

Senior first baseman Cory Fallon responded with a home run in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at two.

In the sixth inning, the Blue Jays were able to score on passed ball by the River Hawks.

Elizabethtown extended the lead to 4-2 when the Blue Jays scored again in the top of the seventh.

Susquehanna rallied in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI single from junior catcher Zach Leone and sacrifice fly from Fallon to tie the game again at 4 apiece.

The River Hawks held the Blue Jays scoreless in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, Gordon hit an RBI single to score freshman pinch runner Chris Corrado and win the game for the River Hawks.

The team of freshman Bobby Grigas, junior Jack Kinney, and senior A.J. Pinto pitched the eight innings. Pinto earned the win and is 1-0 on the season.

In the second game of the Saturday doubleheader, the Riv- er Hawks fell to the Blue Jays in an extra inning loss.

In the first inning, Elizabethtown scored on a single to take the 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Susquehanna responded with an RBI single by Fallon and a sacrifice fly by senior left fielder Dylan Jenkins to take the lead 2-1.

n the second, the battle continued as Elizabethtown hit a two-run RBI single to regain the lead 3-2.

No one scored until the bottom of the fourth inning, when junior short stop Cole Luzin’s RBI single tied the game at three a piece.

The rest of the game was scoreless, so it was forced into extra innings.

In the top of eleventh, Elizabethtown scored three runs on three hits and an error by the River Hawks.

Sophomore Nathan Madden pitched a full nine innings for the River Hawks with eight strikeouts and three runs, while senior Liam Conboy came in to pitch the two remaining innings of the game.

On Sunday, Susquehanna finished off the three game se- ries by celebrating senior day. The team recognized its thir- teen seniors.

In the bottom of the second, senior right fielder Taylor Luckenbill singled down the left field line to score Jenkins to put the River Hawks up 1-0.

The River Hawks added to their lead with two runs in the bottom of the third with and RBI double by Fallon and a groundout by Jenkins to score Leone.

Elizabethtown was able to finally get on the board in the fourth inning when freshman pitcher Sean Rodriguez walked in a run.

Susquehanna added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings to increase their lead to 6-1.

The top of the fifth was a big one for the Blue Jays as they score six runs on six hits to take the lead.

Luzins responded in the bottom of the sixth with a home run to left field to tie the game at seven.

In the top of the eighth, Elizabethtown rallied to score an- other run on a fielder’s choice to make the score 8-7.

In the bottom of the eighth, Jenkins hit a sacrifice fly to right field and Luzins was able to score to tie the game at eight. Luckenbill then singled to right field to score Leone to give the River Hawks the go ahead run that would be the winning run for Susquehanna.

Kinney earned the save with a shutout ninth inning.

Susquehanna improves their record to 20-13 overall, and 11-4 in the Landmark.

On April 26, the River Hawks dropped a game to Albright 8-6. Sophomore Ben Burman led the team with four hits and scored two runs.

The River Hawks are back in action next weekend where they will travel to Drew for a weekend series.

Susquehanna track and field take on Bucknell

By Akshay Kripalani, Staff writer 

The Susquehanna men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the Bison Invitational at Bucknell on April 14 and 15 and both turned in good results.

On the men’s side of the competition, even though the entire team did well as a whole, one runner came up on top and even broke a record of his own. That runner was senior Mathew Gass.

Gass, who raced in the 400-meter dash, finished in ninth place with a personal best time of 48.8 seconds. This was not the only to 20 finish that Gass had, he also came in 19th place in the 200-meter it a time of 22.55 seconds.

Senior Armond Owens came in 31st place in the 100-meter race with a time of 11.37 seconds.

Freshman Robert Marks came in fifth place in the jav- elin with a throw of 200’11”.

After the meet on Saturday, Marks won the Landmark Field Athlete of the Week.

Marks currently remains ninth in the nation for the Javelin throw, and is just the ninth athlete in Susquehanna history to clear the 200 foot barrier.

Junior Joshua Brown also had a good outing. He placed 13th in the javelin throw with a throw of 183’7.”

On the women’s side of the meet everyone did well. Senior Amy Kaschak finished in 32nd place in the 3-kilometer steeplechase while senior Jasmine Mitchell and freshman Samantha Reed finished 42nd place and 50th place respectively in the 100-meter race.

Mitchell ran a time of 13 seconds while Reed finished in 13.14 seconds.

Even though the track side of the meet finished well it was the field side which finsihed the strongest.

Senior Gabrielle Alguire finished in second place in a competitive field in the javelin throw. Alguire threw 151’1” to take second place behind the the first place finisher from Division I. She was the top Di- vision III finisher.

The throw was actually only her second best of the season as well, as the PR for this season came in the season-opening Jim Taylor Invitational.

Alguire was also named the Landmark Field Athlete of the Week for the second time in three weeks thanks to her strong performance.

The River Hawks will get back on the track on April 22 when they travel to Misericordia for their next meet.

Susquehanna will race again on April 28 at the Penn Relays and April 29 at Shippensburg, before competing at the Landmark Conference Championships on May 6 and May 7 at Moravian.

Is NFL treating Colin Kaepernick unfairly?

By Justus Sturtevant, Staff writer

Last year, I wrote a sports shot about the role sports can take as a platform for social change. The piece came in response to the uproar over Beyonce’s halftime performance during Super Bowl 50.

This past year, Colin Kaepernick displayed the power of this platform when he repeatedly took a knee during the national anthem.

His protest, along with the social justice work he does, earned Kaepernick a spot on the Time Magazine 100 Most Influential list for 2017, which was released this week.

Meanwhile, Kaepernick, who was a highly regarded starting quarterback in the NFL a few seasons ago, has been unable to sign with any NFL team.

Some people claim that teams are unfairly avoiding a decent backup quarterback due to his off-the-field actions.

Others point to his recent statistics and film and argue that Kaepernick is not a quality NFL quarterback.

There is certainly some truth to both arguments. Kaepernick is not the same quarterback he once was. However, many NFL executives dislike Kaepernick for his protests. One NFL executive called Kaepernick’s protests “an embarrassment to football,” according to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman.

It seems unlikely that executives could hold such strong contempt for a player without it affecting their roster decisions, which causes me to wonder if Kaepernick being a free agent this late into the offseason is purely a result of his play.

That thought is strengthened by the quarterback situation for some NFL teams. The Chicago Bears, New York Jets and Cleveland Browns are all without clear starting quarterbacks, and this year’s draft class is not strong.

It seems like Kaepernick is well suited to aid any one of these teams as a veteran quarterback who could serve as the backup to a developing rookie.

Any arguments about his off-field distractions need to be taken with a grain of salt, as the NFL has a long history of employing players with off- field issues. After all, this is the league who suspended Ray Rice for just two games after his on-camera assault.

Regardless of how the Kaepernick situation plays out, it seems to me that the NFL has a bit of a double-standard when it comes to the treatment of the off-field behavior of its players.

Softball sweeps weekend series versus Juniata

By Kirsten Hatton, Staff writer

The Susquehanna softball team’s bats were able to combine for a total of sixteen runs in a doubleheader sweep against Juniata on Saturday April 15, in Huntington, Pennsylvania.

Senior designated player Lauren Creamer was the standout star for the River Hawks, as she had two home runs, a grand slam, and nine RBIs to help lead the team to two victories.

The River Hawks started their bats with a single-run home run by Creamer in the top of the second. In the third, junior short stop Heather Pearson singled to third base to score freshman right fielder Emily Lear who has reached on an error at first.

The Juniata Eagles responded with a  homerun and an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game at two.

In the top of the sixth, sophomore first baseman Jackie Gore got the rally going with a single to the pitcher. Creamer was next at bat and hit a home run to open the lead to 4-2 for the River Hawks.

The River Hawks added two more runs in the seventh. Junior catcher Kelly Miller started off the inning by drawing a walk and her teammate, freshman centerfielder Kasey Bost, walked as well. With two people on base and no one out, Lear hit a single to load the bases.

Junior second baseman Brooke Kohler hit into a fielder’s choice and scored Miller from third. Pearson was able to hit into a sacrifice fly to score Bost to increase the lead to 6-2 and secure the win for the River Hawks.

Senior pitcher Jamie Fesinstine earned her sixth win of the year allowing only two runs on five hits across seven innings.

In the second game of the day, the River Hawks got out to an early lead in game which eventually led to a 10-0 shutout victory over the Eagles.

In the top of the first, Creamer singled to score junior thrid baseman Emile Boman and Pearson to take a 2-0 lead.

Sophomore pitcher Alexa Gonzalez took the mound for the River Hawks, starting the day with a two strikeout bottom of the first inning.

In the second inning, Kohler singled to left and was able to reach second on the throw and score Miller. Pearson then hit a sacrifice fly to score Gonzalez from third to give the River Hawks an early 4-0 lead.

In the third, Gonzalez singled to left and scored Creamer. In the next inning, the River Hawks added another run with an RBI from Boman to score Kohler.

In the top of the sixth, Creamer hit a grand-slam to make the lead 10-0. Gonzalez recorded her 11th win with a three hits and no runs.

The River Hawks improve to 19-9 overall, 6-2 in the Land- mark, while the Eagles fall to 13- 17 on the year.

Susquehanna also played two games on April 20. They dropped both games to Misericordia.

In game one, the River Hawks scored two in the top of the first off of a Gore two-run home run, which held the lead until the bottom of the third when Misericordia scored on an RBI single and two unearned runs.

In game two, the River Hawks let up a solo home run in the bot- tom of the fourth, which would be the only run of the game giving Misericordia the 1-0 win.

The River Hawks best opportunity came in the seventh inning when they had bases loaded, but they failed to score any runs.

SU golf teams perform well over the weekend

By Andrew Porzio, Staff writer

The Susquehanna men’s golf team took fifth overall at this past weekend’s Empire 8 Championship tournament at the Hershey Country Club in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Susquehanna finished with a four round total of 1,362 strokes to take fifth place. The River Hawks finished just four strokes ahead of Nazareth in the final standings.

Individually, senior Matt Schaffner led Susquehanna as he finished in 10th place overall with a score of +20. He shot a score of 81 on both April 14 and April 15 to finish with an overall score of 162.

Freshman Alex Wager finished tied for 12th with a score of 23 over par and ju- nior Connor White tied for 16th at 24 over par.

St. John Fisher took the team title with a score of 1,250 good for 106 over par. Stevens was second followed by Moravian, Scranton and Susquehanna.

The River Hawks will finish their season at the National Invitational Tournament at Glenmaura Country Club.

Susquehanna’s men’s team also placed ninth at the Stevenson Invitational on April 13. Wager was the top finisher for the River Hawks with a score of 14 over par.

On the women’s side, the team placed four girls inside the top 20 on April 11 at the Ursinus Spring Invitational on the Stonewall North Course in Elverson, Pennsylvania.

Freshman Michelle Davidson and sophomore Samantha Thompson both finished 11th and 12th respectively on the par 70, 5,886-yard course.

Davidson posted a score of 93 which was good for 23 over par.

Thompson was right be- hind her on the leaderboard as she finished with a score of 96, which was good for 26 over par.

Senior Jocelyn Tamayo finished at 43 over par on the day, which placed her at 19th place on the leaderboard and freshman Kira Hunter finished in 20th place with a score of 45 over par to be the fourth River Hawk in the top 20.

Susquehanna finished third out of eight teams in the tournament finishing with a score of 417. Muhlenberg captured the team title with a score of 345, while Alvernia took second with score of 381.

Albright finished fourth behind Susquehanna while Cabrini, Franklin and Mar- shall, Neumann and Ursinus did not bring enough golfers to the match to record a team score for the event.

The River Hawks will complete the spring season with the Centennial Conference Championships this weekend at Franklin and Marshall.