BUENA VISTA, Va. – The third-ranked Salisbury University baseball team stretched its winning streak to six games with two dominant road wins over the Southern Virginia Knights in Saturday's Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) doubleheader. The Sea Gulls used a total team effort to win the opener 14-2 and, behind a 13-run eighth inning, cruised to a 23-1 victory in the nightcap.
HOW IT HAPPENED – GAME 1
- Salisbury scored a run in each of the first three innings. Jimmy Adkins got the ball rolling in the top of the first with a two-out single, then after a hit batsman, Adkins stole third and came home on an airmailed throw from the catcher.
- The Knights tied it in the home half of the first on a leadoff home run by Will Parker, but the Sea Gulls responded in the second when Cameron Hyder tripled and scored on a Luke Weddell sac fly. In the third, Adkins launched a solo homer to left, giving SU a 3-1 cushion.
- The Sea Gulls busted the dam open in the fifth and sixth. Sky Rahill led off the fifth with a round-tripper to center, then Kavi Caster singled home one run and scored his own on a wild pitch for a three-run frame.
- In the sixth, Justin Meekins produced the third SU home run of the game, a two-run shot to center that put the Sea Gulls up 8-1.
- Meekins picked up two more RBIs in the eighth with a two-out two-run double. Salisbury punctuated the onslaught in the ninth, loading the bases with one out to set up a Hyder two-run double and Cullen McAuliffe two-run single, getting the Sea Gulls up to two touchdowns.
- SVU picked up a run in the ninth as Tyler Callens managed a pinch-hit double and scored on a throwing error at short, giving the game its final 14-2 margin.
SALISBURY GAME 1 NOTES
- Justin Meekins feasted from the top of the lineup for the Sea Gulls, going 3-for-5 with a double, home run, four RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base.
- Cameron Hyder mashed three extra-base hits, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs, three runs scored and a stolen base.
- Jimmy Adkins clubbed his first home run of the season and finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a stolen base.
- Sky Rahill finished 2-for-4 with a solo homer, while Cullen McAuliffe drove in a pair off the bench.
- Jackson Balzan (3-0) turned in his longest and best start of the season, allowing one run on two hits over six innings, walking one and striking out a season-high 10. It was the second time Balzan hit double-digit strikeouts in his career and first since his collegiate debut on Feb. 19, 2020, when he fanned 11 in six shutout frames against Immaculata.
- Christian Murphy, Xavier Marmol and Justin McDermott combined to carry the Sea Gulls through the final three innings, surrendering one unearned run and two hits between them.
SOUTHERN VIRGINIA GAME 1 NOTES
- Will Parker's leadoff home run was the high-water mark of the day for the Knights at the plate; Parker finished 1-for-3 with the solo blast and a walk.
- Tyler Callens doubled and scored the only other SVU run in the ninth.
- Austin Forsyth (0-3) got stuck with the loss, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits in three innings.
HOW IT HAPPENED – GAME 2
- Salisbury again got off and running in the first inning as Matt Padeway smacked a two-run home run, setting the tone for the power surge to come.
- Jimmy Adkins drove home another run in the third on a sac fly, then the Sea Gulls plated a pair on three errors in the fifth to go up 5-0. SU got two more in the sixth on a wild pitch and error, then Adkins crossed the plate in the seventh on a passed ball to make it 8-1.
- The Sea Gulls sent 16 men to the plate and scored 13 runs in the eighth inning. It all started when Christian Murphy reached on an error at third base to lead off. Eventually Murphy scored on a sac fly by Sky Rahill.
- The rest of the Salisbury runs in the inning scored on the following: a Kavi Caster RBI single, an Adkins two-run double, a Brady O'Neil two-run homer, a two-run double by Murphy, a three-run blast by Justin Meekins and a two-run round-tripper by Luke Weddell. When the dust had settled the Sea Gulls boasted a 21-1 lead.
- Trent Saunders went yard in the ninth for SU's fifth home run in the game, and eventually Rahill singled home one more run to give the game its final 23-1 margin.
SALISBURY GAME 2 NOTES
- Justin Meekins stayed hot in the nightcap for the Sea Gulls, going 3-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs, three runs scored and a stolen base. In the two games of the twin bill, the three-time all-conference selection went 6-for-10 with a double, two homers, seven RBIs, five runs scored and two stolen bases.
- Cameron Hyder finished 3-for-6 with three runs scored, giving him six hits and six runs in the pair of games.
- Matt Padeway, Brady O'Neil, Luke Weddell and Trent Saunders all joined Meekins in going yard, giving Salisbury eight big flies in the doubleheader. In their first four C2C games of the season Salisbury has bashed 11 home runs.
- Jimmy Adkins (3), Weddell (2), Padeway (2), O'Neil (2), Christian Murphy (2) and Sky Rahill (2) all had multi-RBI games for Salisbury.
- The Sea Gulls stole six bases in the game, with Adkins swiping three bags, Kavi Caster stealing two, and Meekins taking one.
- Aaron Combs (1-0) benefited from the surplus run support to pick up his first win of the year, allowing one run on three hits in 5.2 innings with no walks and seven strikeouts.
- Clayton Dwyer, Brandon Epstein and Mike Hohlfeld finished off the final 3.1 frames on the mound for the Sea Gulls.
SOUTHERN VIRGINIA GAME 2 NOTES
- Brady Lamb homered in the sixth for the Knights' only run of the game. He finished 2-for-3 with a double and the solo shot.
- Will Parker (0-3) absorbed the loss, giving up three runs on two hits in four innings.
- SVU committed six errors in the game, leading to 10 unearned runs.
- The Sea Gulls now get ready for three games in four days against C2C rival Christopher Newport, starting with a road showdown on Wednesday afternoon and returning to Salisbury for one each on Friday and Saturday.
- First pitch from Newport News, Va., on Wednesday is set for 3:30 p.m.