BALTIMORE – The No. 17 Salisbury University baseball team traveled to No. 20 Johns Hopkins University for its first road game on Sunday afternoon, but came up short, falling to the Blue Jays on a ninth-inning walk-off home run, 4-3.
Johns Hopkins (8-1) struck first with two out in the bottom of the first inning. Starting pitcher Clayton Dwyer served up a pitch to Chris Festa, which he abruptly sent over the left field fence for a solo home run to make it 1-0.
Salisbury (6-4-1) answered back in the top of the second inning. With two outs, Jay Perry smacked a double into left field before Will Gutekunst followed up with a single into center that traveled just far enough to allow Perry to finish his trip around the bases and tie things up a 1-1.
The Blue Jays pulled ahead once again in the bottom half of the second inning. With a runner on second base and one out, Matt Ritchie took a pitch from Dwyer and sent just beyond the reach of Brad Haas' glove and over the left field fence to put the home team up, 3-1.
The Sea Gulls pulled even once again in the top half of the fifth inning. Haas and Cameron Hyder were each able to reach base on singles before Jimmy Monaghan cracked a two-run double into the gap in left-center field to score both baserunners and make it 3-3.
After allowing two home runs in the first two innings, Dwyer was able to settle in and pitch effectively over the course of the next 5 2/3 innings and keep the game even. He recorded five strikeouts and allowed only one walk before being pulled from the game with two outs in the eighth inning.
With the game still tied at three apiece in the bottom of the ninth, Tim Kutcher stepped to the plate for the Blue Jays, offered at the first pitch he saw, and sent a no-doubter over the left field fence to give his team the walk-off victory.
Salisbury will return home on Tuesday, March 12 to host the Hood College Blazers. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.