SALISBURY, Md. – Less than an hour after enduring a heartbreaking loss in the longest game in NCAA Division III history, the third-ranked Salisbury University baseball team exacted its revenge, shutting out the Southern Virginia Knights, 10-0, in Saturday evening's Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) showdown at Sea Gull Baseball Stadium.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Sea Gulls wasted no time getting on the board. Luke Weddell worked a one-out walk in the first inning, advancing to second on a wild pitch and to third on a groundout. With two down, Matt Padeway stroked a single into center, bringing around Weddell to put his team up 1-0.
- Salisbury pounced for three more in the second. Stephen Rice led off with a single. After a sac bunt, Zach Geesaman rolled a grounder to the left side that the third baseman threw away, allowing Rice to score and Geesaman to take second. Cullen McAuliffe and Justin Meekins were each hit by a pitch to load the bases, then Weddell got in the middle of things again, muscling a single through the right side to score Geesaman and McAuliffe and make it 4-0 Sea Gulls.
- Cameron Hyder worked a bases-loaded walk in the fifth to push another run across. In the sixth, Meekins and Weddell singled and doubled to put men on second and third with one out. After a walk to load the bases, Padeway poked a two-run single through the left side, increasing the Salisbury cushion to 7-0.
- SU plated three more for good measure in the seventh. Hyder led off with a triple down the right field line, then Geesaman dropped a base hit into center to bring him home. After a walk to McAuliffe, Meekins laced a double down the left field line, scoring Geesaman and McAuliffe to give Salisbury its final 10-0 lead.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Matt Padeway had a big game at the plate on his Senior Day, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Fellow senior Justin Meekins finished 2-for-4 with a double, run and two RBIs.
- Luke Weddell went 2-for-3 with a double, two runs and two RBIs, while Zach Geesaman finished 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
- Jackson Balzan (5-1) turned in his best start of the season for the win, tossing six scoreless four-hit innings with three walks and nine strikeouts.
- Robbie Hollenbeck pitched two scoreless frames in relief of Balzan, while Mike Hohlfeld handled a scoreless ninth to give Salisbury its third shutout of the season and second in three games.
- The Sea Gulls honored seven graduating seniors before Saturday's game: pitcher Clayton Dwyer; catchers Brady O'Neil and Matt Padeway; infielders Brandon Bonesteel and Cullen McAuliffe; and outfielders Joe Doherty and Justin Meekins. All six position players appeared in the game; Dwyer last started on Thursday.
- Originally scheduled to begin at 12 p.m., the game did not start until 5:35 p.m. due to the completion of Friday's suspended game, which ultimately lasted 23 innings and did not finish until 5 p.m.
SOUTHERN VIRGINIA GAME NOTES
- Nick Daynes' sixth-inning double accounted for the only extra-base hit of the game for the Knights, who only tallied five hits.
- Nate McCallum (0-4) endured the loss after two rough innings to start, surrendering four runs (three earned) on three hits.
- The Sea Gulls finish the regular season at 21-4 overall and 14-2 in the C2C, clinching the top seed in the upcoming C2C Tournament.
- Salisbury will play host to fifth-seeded Southern Virginia in a best-of-three semifinal series beginning on Friday, May 14. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. with coverage beginning on the Sea Gull Sports Network (SGSN) at 2:45 p.m.
- Game 1 will be followed by Game 2 on Saturday at 11 a.m., followed by Game 3 (if necessary) at 2 p.m.