SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University baseball team drove home five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to come from behind and defeat No. 7 Cortland State in walk-off fashion on Sunday afternoon, 9-8.
Final Score: Salisbury 9, Cortland State 8
Records: Salisbury (4-1) | Cortland State (4-2)
Location: Sea Gull Baseball Stadium – Salisbury, Md.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Salisbury snagged the first lead of the game in the bottom of the third inning. With one out and no one on, Cortland State starting pitcher Joe Valentino walked the next two batters he faced. Cameron Hyder then slapped a pitch to first base, but Cortland's Sam Kippen sent a throw into center field trying to turn the double play, allowing Nate Yoder to advance home, putting Salisbury up 1-0.
- The Red Dragons evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the fifth inning. With two runners in scoring position, Cortland's Colin BeVard sent a single into right field to score teammate Andrew Michalski from third base.
- Cortland State pulled ahead in the sixth inning, scoring three more runs to go up 4-1.
- The Sea Gulls pulled back within one in the bottom half of the inning. With runners on first and second and one away, Jimmy Adkins singled through the left side of the infield, allowing Justin Meekins to round third and come home for the first run of the inning. With two outs, Yoder was able to reach first base on a fielding error by Cortland State's Dan Coleman. The error also allowed Stephen Rice to score from second base to make it 4-3 Red Dragons.
- Coleman made up for his error, however, hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning to push the Red Dragons' lead to 5-3.
- The visitors added three more runs in the top half of the eighth inning on a two-RBI triple by Colin BeVard and an RBI single by Mat Bruno, making it 8-3 Cortland State.
- Salisbury got a run back in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly to center field by Brandon Bonesteel.
- Still trailing 8-4 and with one already gone in the bottom of the ninth, the Sea Gulls set into motion one of their biggest rallies in recent memory. Hyder drew a walk before advancing to second after Brad Haas reached on a throwing error by Michalski. Meekins then drew a walk in the next at-bat to load the bases. A two-RBI single by Christian Murphy and an RBI double by Rice followed to trim the Cortland lead down to one at 8-7.
- The Cortland State dugout decided they wanted none of Jimmy Monaghan when he stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter in the next at-bat and intentionally walked him to load the bases once again. That's when Bonesteel stepped to the plate for his second opportunity of the afternoon. The third baseman swung at a pitch he liked, hitting it so hard into the turf that it skipped just over the head of Coleman at first and continued into shallow right field. The clutch hit was enough to send both Rice and Murphy home as the Sea Gulls completed the amazing comeback, 9-8.
- Brandon Bonesteel's walk-off single and a sacrifice fly amounted to a team-high three RBI on the afternoon. Bonesteel entered the game in the seventh inning giving him two total plate appearances.
- Christian Murphy drove home two runs while scoring two more in the victory.
- Salisbury starting pitcher Braden Stinar received a no-decision, pitching 5 1/3 strong innings. Stinar struck out eight batters while allowing four hits and three earned runs and a walk.
- Salisbury used eight different pitchers on the afternoon after using six the day before. Brandon Epstein (1-0) picked up the win after pitching the top half of the ninth inning. Epstein surrendered two hits and recorded one strikeout without surrendering a run.
- Salisbury will hit the road for the first time this season when it travels to Virginia Wesleyan University on Wednesday, February 26 to face the Marlins beginning at 2 p.m.