SALISBURY, Md. – Playing its second twin bill of the weekend, the seventh-ranked Salisbury University baseball team won both games against The College of New Jersey Lions on Sunday afternoon at Sea Gull Baseball Stadium. The Sea Gulls used a late flourish to put away a 6-2 win in the opener, while a big fifth inning propelled SU to a 11-3 win in the nightcap.
HOW IT HAPPENED – GAME 1
- TCNJ picked up an unearned run in the top of the first on a Chris Reeder single. In the home half of the first, Kavi Caster led off with a walk and took second on a groundout. Caster then stole third and came home on a throwing error by the catcher to tie the game.
- Jimmy Adkins restarted the rally with a single, advancing to second on a bad pickoff throw and a groundout. Stephen Rice then singled up the middle to plate Adkins and put the Sea Gulls up 2-1.
- Salisbury manufactured another run in the fourth. Rice led off with a walk and stole second, then Cameron Hyder was hit by a pitch. Rice and Hyder then executed a double steal, and two batters later Brandon Bonesteel hit a sac fly to right, scoring Rice to make it 3-1 SU.
- The Lions got closer and threatened more in the sixth. Grant Sible led off with a walk and Reeder singled, then both runners moved up on a groundout. Cameron Cane lifted a sac fly to right to score Sible and make it 3-2, but Hyder, Adkins and Bonesteel executed a perfect relay to third to get an over-sliding Reeder for the third out.
- Salisbury put the game away for good in the eighth. Adkins led off with a single and Christian Murphy sacrificed him to second. After a walk to Rice, Hyder slashed a triple down the right field line, scoring two. Then with Matt Padeway at the plate, Hyder broke for home and Padeway laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to boost the Sea Gull lead to 6-2, where it would stay for good.
SALISBURY GAME 1 NOTES
- Batting in his third different slot in three games, Jimmy Adkins went 2-for-4 with two runs from the three-hole for the Sea Gulls.
- Stephen Rice went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks, two runs and an RBI, plus three stolen bases.
- Jackson Balzan (2-0) authored his longest and best start of the season to pick up his second win of the year. Balzan gave up just an unearned run on two hits in five innings of work, walking four and striking out six.
- Clayton Dwyer pitched three innings for the second straight day and earned his first save of the season. Dwyer tossed three scoreless to finish off the Lions, scattering two hits and punching out five.
TCNJ GAME 1 NOTES
- Chris Reeder went 2-for-4 with an RBI, picking up two of the Lions' five hits, all singles.
- Tom Kelly (0-1) shouldered the loss despite a quality start, going six innings and surrendering three runs (two earned) on two hits with four walks and five strikeouts.
HOW IT HAPPENED – GAME 2
- Kavi Caster led off the bottom of the first with a single, stole second and took third on an error by the catcher. After two strikeouts, Christian Murphy walked to put men on the corners. Murphy then broke to steal second early, drawing the attention of the TCNJ pitcher and allowing Caster to bolt home with the game's first run.
- The teams each picked up a run in the second inning on bases-loaded walks. Nicholas Marcelli drew the run-scoring free pass for the Lions, while Jimmy Adkins worked the RBI walk to make it 2-1 Sea Gulls.
- A patient Salisbury sat back and capitalized on TCNJ wildness in the third. With the bases loaded on three walks and one out, Sky Rahill rolled into an RBI fielder's choice at second. After another walk, Brady O'Neil got hit by a pitch to force in another, making it 4-1 Salisbury.
- Cameron Cane belted a two-run homer in the fourth to get the Lions back within one at 4-3.
- The Sea Gulls finally got pitches to hit in the fifth and erupted for six runs. Two hit batsmen and a walk loaded the bases with one out, and Murphy went up the middle for a two-run single. After another walk to Stephen Rice, Cameron Hyder dropped a base hit into right to score two more, and Hyder and Rice second and third on the throw home.
- Two batters later, Brandon Bonesteel ripped one into center for the third two-run single of the inning, giving the Sea Gulls a 10-3 cushion.
- Salisbury added one more in the seventh. Rice was hit by a pitch with one out, and Hyder singled to right, advancing to second on the throw to try and get Hyder at third. Matt Padeway followed with a sac fly to left, plating Rice to give the game its final 11-3 margin.
SALISBURY GAME 2 NOTES
- Kavi Caster ran wild at the top of the Sea Gull lineup, stealing four bases, including home on the first-inning double steal. At the plate, Caster went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs.
- Stephen Rice reached on all four of his trips to the plate, singling once and walking three times on the way to three runs scored.
- Christian Murphy, Cameron Hyder and Brandon Bonesteel each had two RBIs, all coming on singles in the fifth inning.
- Salisbury was outhit 8-6 but put 16 more men on base on 11 TCNJ walks and five hit batsmen.
- Jimmy Adkins (1-0) earned the win in relief at the scorekeeper's discretion, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings from the fifth through the end of the seventh. Adkins scattered two hits and one walk with three strikeouts.
- Starting pitcher Aaron Combs lasted three-plus innings, allowing one run on one hit with three walks and four punchouts.
TCNJ GAME 2 NOTES
- Jack Felipe finished 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored for the Lions, while Cameron Cane went 1-for-2 with a two-run homer.
- Matt Volpe (0-1) was wild in his start and knocked out after just 2.2 innings. Volpe walked nine batters, surrendering four runs (two earned) on one hit.
- After back-to-back doubleheaders, Salisbury will play a single home game against Wesley on Wednesday, March 24.
- First pitch from Sea Gull Baseball Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m. with coverage beginning on the Sea Gull Sports Network (SGSN) at 3:15 p.m.