SALISBURY, Md. – Clayton Dwyer came eight outs shy of a perfect game as the third-ranked Salisbury University baseball team wrapped up the regular season Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) title with a 6-0 win over the St. Mary's (Md.) Seahawks on Thursday afternoon at Sea Gull Baseball Stadium.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Sea Gulls capitalized on several Seahawk miscues in the first inning. Justin Meekins led off by getting hit by a pitch, then Luke Weddell reached on a groundball that ate up the shortstop. Cameron Hyder was hit to load the bases, then two batters later Sky Rahill got plunked to force in the game's first run.
- Two batters after that, Scott Cameron kept his hot streak up in a big way, pegging a single into center to score two and put Salisbury up 3-0.
- SU kept the bats going in each of the next two innings. Meekins got hit by another pitch with one out and promptly stole second. After a groundout sent Meekins to third, Hyder brought him home on an RBI infield single to second base, making it 4-0 Sea Gulls.
- In the third, Rahill led off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Cameron followed with a base hit to put men on the corners, then Christian Murphy executed a safety squeeze to perfection, bringing Rahill home to push the Sea Gull lead to 5-0.
- The Sea Gulls got one more run across in the fifth. Rahill and Stephen Rice managed back-to-back one-out singles, then Cameron tagged another single up the middle to score Rahill, giving SU its final 6-0 margin.
- The run support was more than enough for Clayton Dwyer, who retired the first 19 batters he faced, including a strikeout of Derrick Booker to give himself 6.1 perfect innings. The next batter was Jake Wood, who powered a double into the left-center gap for the Seahawks' first hit of the game.
- Undaunted, Dwyer struck out Joey Bryner and Dillon Waters back-to-back to finish off the seventh. He then induced three groundouts in a row to the left side, making it through eight scoreless innings at 101 pitches.
- Brock Hilligoss came on for the ninth and, aided by a diving catch in right field by Hyder for the first out, retired SMCM one-two-three, finishing off the combined one-hitter.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Clayton Dwyer (8-0) all but locked up C2C Pitcher of the Year with his most dominant performance yet, striking out a season high-tying 10 batters over eight innings of one-hit ball. Dwyer currently leads the C2C in all three Pitching Triple Crown categories with eight wins, 73 strikeouts and a 1.47 ERA.
- Brock Hilligoss needed just 14 pitches to retire all three batters he faced in the ninth, finishing off the Sea Gulls' second team shutout of the year.
- Scott Cameron stayed on a tear at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a stolen base. In six straight starts in left field, Cameron has gone 11-for-21 (.524) with seven RBIs.
- Sky Rahill finished 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored, while Justin Meekins scored twice after reaching on two HBPs.
ST. MARY'S GAME NOTES
- Jake Wood's seventh-inning double represented the Seahawks' only baserunner of the game. SMCM sent just 28 men to the plate.
- Mark Smith (2-4) was undone by a shaky first inning, lasting just two innings and allowing four runs (two earned) on two hits and four hit batsmen.
- The Sea Gulls play their penultimate game of the regular season on Friday afternoon against Southern Virginia.
- First pitch from Sea Gull Baseball Stadium is set for 3 p.m. with coverage beginning on the Sea Gull Sports Network (SGSN) at 2:45 p.m.