Elizabethtown wins first Landmark Conference Championship!

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Elizabethtown rebounded from Sunday morning's 5-1 loss to Susquehanna to shut the River Hawks down over the final seven innings of a winner-take-all game in the afternoon. The Blue Jays captured their first Landmark Baseball Championship with a 6-2 victory and are headed to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2009.

at Gallaudet

Junior pitcher Anthony Lippy was lights out for most of the morning, but Elizabethtown failed to cash in on a few prime scoring opportunities in dropping its first game of the tournament.

Lippy rolled through Susquehanna's lineup throughout the first five innings. He didn't allow a run on four hits and registered a pair of strikeouts.

The Blue Jays were poised to bury the River Hawks on a few occasions, but Susquehanna found its way out of multiple jams.

In the bottom of the fifth, Tom Armstrong and Frank Ragozzino took free bases to start the inning. A wild pitch moved pinch-runner Riley McGinley and Ragozzino up, giving the Jays runners on second and third with no outs in a scoreless game.

River Hawks shortstop Cole Luzins fielded a grounder from Kyle Fackler and threw home to get McGinley before he could give E-town the lead.

Ragozzino caught Susquehanna off guard, swiping third for just his second career stolen base, and Richy Masciarelli drove him home with a double to right for a 1-0 lead.

Elizabethtown was still threatening with a pair of runners in scoring position and one out, but reliever Ryan Beckwith snared a liner from Colby Smith and threw back to third to double up Fackler and end the inning.

A double from Luzins with one out in the top of the sixth scored Zach Leone and Cory Fallon to put Susquehanna up 2-1, and was the only blemish against Lippy until the ninth.

The Blue Jays' best chance to regain the lead came in the seventh.

Ragozzino walked to start the inning and Fackler singled back through the box for his 71st hit of the season, breaking Andy Barrick's 29-year old school record. Masciarelli followed with a bunt single to load the bases with no one out.

Susquehanna turned the game over to its closer, Liam Conboy, who promptly got Smith to pop up to short and then induced Mike Christy's inning-ending double play.

Lippy picked up a quick pair of outs in the top of the ninth attempting to keep Elizabethtown within a run. Consecutive singles from Taylor Luckenbill and Leone (RBI) extended SU's lead to 3-1 and kept the inning alive.

With Lippy out after 8.2 innings, Dylan Jenkins pulled Andrew Brndjar's first pitch down the right field line for a two-run double and a 5-1 Susquehanna lead.

Lippy was charged with 10 hits and five runs allowed --two earned-- in the longest outing of his career. He pitched much better than his final stat line indicated, however, and also finished with three strikeouts.

Susquehanna started Tyson Thrush pushed through four innings, giving up E-town's only run on three hits and four walks. Beckwith worked two scoreless innings for the win and Conboy earned his fourth save with three shutout frames.

Fackler matched SU's Leone with a game-high three hits in five at-bats. Masciarelli and Nick Lorenz had two hits each for Elizabethtown.

at Gallaudet

Playing its fifth game of the weekend, Susquehanna scrambled to piece together arms in an attempt to defend its Landmark title.

Thanks to sophomore Braden Stinar, the Blue Jays (27-15) had no such issues. In his first career start, Stinar did yeoman's work. He held the River Hawks (25-19) to two runs --just one earned-- and scattered 10 hits over eight innings. Of those 10 hits, only two went for extra bases and they were both doubles. More impressively, the Forest Hill, Maryland, product did not issue a single walk.

Tournament MVP Kyle Fackler again led the charge for the Blue and Gray. He doubled off Bobby Grigas to start the game and scored the game's first run on a Colby Smith groundout two batters later.

Elizabethtown chased Grigas from Friday's opening game in the third inning and it was apparent that the talented rookie didn't have his best stuff early in Sunday's decisive game, either.

Grigas gave up four hits in the first inning, but was able to get out of it with just one run allowed. He walked Frank Ragozzino early in the second and Fackler's second double against him in as many at-bats had SU coach Denny Bowers going to the bullpen.

Jack Kinney came on, but the defense let him down when a routinely hit ball to second base by Richy Masciarelli was misplayed, allowing E-town to increase its lead to 2-0.

Susquehanna evened the game in the bottom of the second with a Tom Giaimo RBI single and error-aided run on the same play, but that would be it for the River Hawks' offense.

E-town answered with two more in the top of the third as Brian Portillo drove in Mike Christy with a double and Nick Bein produced his third sacrifice fly of the weekend.

Christy collected a RBI on a fielder's choice in the fourth and Masciarelli's single in the eighth scored Michael Sheaffer for a 6-2 Blue Jay lead.

Josh Kwak pitched a perfect ninth as the Jays won their first conference title since 2009 when they were members of the MAC Commonwealth.

Fackler's fantastic weekend came to a close with a 4 for 5 performance that included two doubles and two runs scored. The Harrisburg native was a ridiculous 13 for 21 (.619) in the tournament with a four-hit game and three three-hit games to raise his season average to .475, which ranks sixth in all of NCAA Division III. Fackler is also just three at-bats away from Adam Sheibley's school record 568 after breaking Sheibley's career runs scored record on Friday.

Christy finished with three hits, while Lorenz and Portillo each had two.

Zach Leone went a perfect 4 for 4 with two doubles for Susquehanna and was the only River Hawk with more than one hit.

Elizabethtown now awaits word on its NCAA Division III Regional Championship placement. The 2017 championship field is expected to be released tonight via press release at NCAA.com. Regionals will take place May 18-22.