SALISBURY, Md. – The eighth-ranked Salisbury University baseball team got back over .500 by breezing past the Virginia Wesleyan Marlins, 6-2, on Wednesday afternoon at Sea Gull Baseball Stadium.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Marlins broke the ice with an unearned run in the top of the third inning. Jaelen Hines led off with a walk, then after stealing second and taking third on a groundout, Hines came home on a passed ball to make it 1-0 VWU.
- The Sea Gulls provided an answer and more in the bottom of the third. Jimmy Adkins led off with a walk and Kavi Caster was hit by a pitch to set the table. After Stephen Rice laid down a sac bunt to advance the runners, Sky Rahill muscled a sac fly to deep left to score Adkins with the tying run.
- Ben Anderson came up next and blasted a line drive over the left field wall for a two-run homer, the first of his collegiate career, to put Salisbury on top 3-1.
- Adkins sparked another run-scoring chance for SU in the fourth, reaching on a one-out throwing error at third. Caster then ripped a single into right, advancing Adkins to third and setting up a double steal opportunity. Caster was caught stealing second, but Adkins took home plate with ease to boost the Sea Gull lead to 4-1.
- The Sea Gulls pulled off a daring escape in the top of the seventh. Sam Kasprow and Hines led off with back-to-back singles, then Ronaldo Del Duca drew a walk to load the bases with no out. Salisbury pitcher Corey Burton dug deep, though, forcing Trent Hanchey to ground into a 1-2-3 double play to put two outs on the board. Garrett Lyons then rolled out harmlessly to short, allowing SU to get through unscathed.
- Rejuvenated, Salisbury made the Marlins pay for the missed opportunity in the home seventh. Caster worked a leadoff walk, then two batters later Rahill blasted a two-run homer to right, his first of the season, pushing SU further ahead at 6-1.
- VWU got one run back in the ninth as Hines reached on a dropped third strike and eventually scored on a Lyons RBI groundout, but it was mere window dressing as the Sea Gulls finished it off by a 6-2 margin.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Ben Anderson set the pace from the cleanup slot for the Sea Gulls, going 3-for-4 with a two-run home run.
- Sky Rahill finished 1-for-3 with a three-run homer, the seventh of his career.
- Cameron Hyder went 3-for-4 with a stolen base, while Kavi Caster finished 1-for-2 with a pair of runs.
- Justin McDermott (1-1) picked up the win in relief, going 1.1 scoreless frames while walking one and striking out one.
- Brandon Epstein earned the start on a bullpen day for Salisbury pitching. Epstein went two innings, giving up one hit and two walks with three punchouts.
- Robbie Hollenbeck handled two-thirds of an inning as a bridge between Epstein and McDermott. Brock Hilligoss and Corey Burton each pitched two scoreless, while Jimmy Adkins made his season debut on the mound and handled the ninth.
VIRGINIA WESLEYAN GAME NOTES
- Jaelen Hines finished 1-for-4 with two runs scored and a stolen base for the Marlins.
- Garrett Lyons went 1-for-5 with the Marlins' only RBI on the day.
- Connor Mock (1-1) took the loss after getting knocked out in the third. He gave up three runs on four hits in 2.2 frames.
- The Sea Gulls hit the road for the first time this season for a pair of key matchups in Baltimore.
- Salisbury will face No. 13 Southern Maine in a neutral contest on Saturday at 12 p.m. On Sunday at noon the Sea Gulls will do battle against No. 5 Johns Hopkins in a matchup of two teams that made it to the 2021 College World Series.
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.