SALISBURY, Md. – The sixth-ranked and top-seeded Salisbury University baseball team moved to within one win of the Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) Tournament championship with an 8-1 win over the second-seeded Christopher Newport Captains in Game 1 of the C2C Championship Series on Friday afternoon at Sea Gull Baseball Stadium.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Sea Gulls got an immediate shot in the arm as Kavi Caster cracked a booming solo home run to right field in the bottom of the first, his third of the season, giving SU an early 1-0 lead.
- In the bottom of the third, Cullen McAuliffe led off with a single, stole second and moved to third on an error. Three batters later, Scott Cameron pounded a single up the middle to bring McAuliffe home and make it 2-0 Salisbury.
- Salisbury pushed two more across in the fourth. Cameron Hyder singled to lead off and took third on a sac bunt and a groundout. After a walk to McAuliffe, Justin Meekins legged out an RBI infield single and McAuliffe advanced to third on an error. With Caster at the plate, Meekins got caught in a rundown between first and second, allowing McAuliffe to slink home and boost the Sea Gull lead to 4-0.
- Caster led off the fifth with a base knock, stole second, and rolled into third on a bad throw from the catcher. Stephen Rice then poked a grounder through the left side for an RBI single to make it 5-0 SU.
- The Captains got their only run in the top of the sixth. Eric O'Brien rolled a one-out single through the right side and took second on a balk. Kyle Schofield then singled, moving O'Brien to third, and Jay Cassady lifted a sac fly into center to bring him home and get CNU back within 5-1.
- Rice worked a two-out walk in the seventh, and Sky Rahill followed with a towering two-run homer to right, his fourth of the year, reinforcing the Sea Gull lead at 7-1.
- SU got its final run of the day in the eighth on a Luke Weddell single, sac bunt, and Meekins base hit to center, giving the game its final 8-1 margin.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- C2C Player of the Year Justin Meekins went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs at the top of the order for the Sea Gulls.
- Sky Rahill finished 2-for-5 with a double, homer and two RBIs, while Kavi Caster went 2-for-5 with a solo home run and two runs scored.
- Scott Cameron and Stephen Rice each had two hits and an RBI.
- C2C Pitcher of the Year Clayton Dwyer (10-0) won his 10th straight decision to begin the 2021 campaign by shutting down the Captains over seven-plus innings. Dwyer allowed one run on seven hits, walking three and striking out seven. He benefited from double play grounders in the first and third innings and stranded two men in scoring position to end the seventh.
- Robbie Hollenbeck polished off the final two innings, walking one and punching out one.
CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT GAME NOTES
- Eric O'Brien finished 2-for-2 with a run scored and a walk to provide the bulk of the Captain offense.
- C2C Rookie of the Year Jay Cassady drove in CNU's only run on a sac fly; he went 0-for-2.
- Josh Husby (5-1) took his first loss of the season, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits over five innings.
- The Sea Gulls and Captains will meet in Game 2 of the C2C Championship Series on Saturday morning.
- First pitch from Sea Gull Baseball Stadium is set for 11 a.m. with coverage beginning on the Sea Gull Sports Network (SGSN) at 10:45 a.m.
- A Salisbury win would clinch the C2C Tournament title and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. A Christopher Newport win would force a decisive Game 3, which would begin soon after the conclusion of Game 2.