SALISBURY, Md. – The top-ranked Salisbury University baseball team surrendered four runs in the top of the ninth inning, falling to the Widener Pride, 4-1, on Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Baseball Stadium.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Sea Gulls let a pair of early opportunities go to waste in the second and third innings. In the bottom of the second SU loaded the bases on a walk, Cameron Hyder single and hit batsman, but Ethan Wentzlaff skied out to right for the third out. In the third, Kavi Caster doubled and Stephen Rice was plunked, and both executed a double steal to get into scoring position, but Sky Rahill lined out sharply to center and SU again came up empty.
- The Pride put together their first threat in the top of the fourth. Tommy McParland led off with a single, then Kyle Brex bunted his way aboard to put two on. After a sac bunt and an intentional walk, SU starter Xavier Marmol buckled down, striking out Aaron Nuble and getting Justin Costanzo to roll out harmlessly to second to retire the side.
- Salisbury opened the scoring by stealing a run in the fifth. Caster plunked a two-out double into the left field corner, then Scott Cameron reached on an error at second to put men on the corners. With Rice at the plate, Cameron took off from first base to grab the pitcher's attention, allowing Caster to sprint home. Cameron eventually swam around the tag at second to finish off the daring double steal and give the Sea Gulls a 1-0 lead.
- After again leaving the bases loaded in the eighth, Widener finally broke through in the top of the ninth. Austin Oliver led off with a single, then after a sac bunt pinch-hitter Jason Morgan tripled him home with the tying run. Following a walk and stolen base to put two men in scoring position with two out, Anthony Boccio dunked a single into left to bring both runners home, giving the Pride a 3-1 lead.
- Bryce Fremgen kept the rally going with a base hit, then Aaron Nuble singled up the middle to bring home Boccio and make it 4-1.
- Salisbury showed fight in the bottom of the ninth as Dom Frigiola led off with a pinch-hit single and Patrick Campbell was hit by a pitch to put two on with one out, but Caster rolled out to the pitcher and Cameron lost a footrace to the bag on a grounder to first for the game's final out.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Kavi Caster led the way at the plate for the Sea Gulls, going 2-for-4 with two doubles, a run scored and two stolen bases.
- Cameron Hyder finished 2-for-4 and stole two bags of his own.
- Ethan Wentzlaff and Dom Frigiola accounted for Salisbury's other two hits with a single each.
- Brock Hilligoss (0-1) endured a blown save and the loss after giving up the first two runs of the ninth. He lasted two-thirds of an inning and gave up two hits.
- Xavier Marmol pitched 4.1 scoreless innings in his first start of the year for the Sea Gulls, scattering three hits and two walks while striking out four.
- Corey Burton relieved Marmol and made it 3.1 scoreless frames, giving up four hits and fanning one.
WIDENER GAME NOTES
- Anthony Boccio finished 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs for the Pride, including the go-ahead two-run single in the ninth.
- Kyle Brex batted 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Aaron Nuble went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
- Joey Norton (1-1) scooped up the win in relief for Widener, giving up just one hit over 2.1 scoreless innings. Toby Hallman earned the save by getting the final two outs of the ninth on just three pitches.
- Aidan O'Brien spun a six-inning gem in a no-decision, giving up an unearned run on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
- The top-ranked Sea Gulls will now seek revenge against second-ranked Cortland State on Sunday. The Red Dragons beat Salisbury 7-3 on Friday.
- First pitch from Sea Gull Baseball Stadium is set for 12 noon with coverage on the Sea Gull Sports Network (SGSN) beginning at 11:45 a.m.
Salisbury University is a proud member of NCAA Division III with primary membership in the Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference, along with the New Jersey Athletic Conference for football and the Metropolitan Swimming and Diving Conference for men's and women's swimming. With over 500 student-athletes in 21 varsity sports, SU is recognized as one of the most competitive intercollegiate athletics programs regardless of division, and dedicated coaches and staff that foster excellence on-and-off the field. The Sea Gulls have celebrated 22 team national championships, 24 individual national champions, 186 conference championships and 41 Academic All-Americans.
To learn more about the tradition of excellence with Sea Gull Athletics, visit www.SUSeaGulls.com or on social media @SUSeaGulls.