SALISBURY, Md. – The fifth-ranked Salisbury University baseball team swept a doubleheader from the Elizabethtown Blue Jays, eking out a 6-4 win in the opener before delivering a 15-2 thrashing in the nightcap on Sunday afternoon at Sea Gull Baseball Stadium.
HOW IT HAPPENED – GAME 1
- The Sea Gulls jumped on the Blue Jays early, scoring three runs in the first inning. Kavi Caster led off with a double to right, then Stephen Rice and Cameron Hyder each beat out infield hits to load the bases. Ben Anderson drew a bases-loaded walk to force in a run, and Sky Rahill brought home another on a sac fly. Two batters later, Dom Frigiola dropped a run-scoring single into center, putting SU on top 3-0.
- The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the third. Tyler McGonigle led off with a single, advanced to second on a passed ball and took third on a flyball. With men on the corners and two out, Bryce Keller took off for second on a wild pitch, and the throw to get him sailed into the outfield, allowing McGonigle to score to make it 3-1.
- Salisbury got that run back in the home third. Rahill worked a leadoff walk, then three batters later Zach Geesaman ripped a double into the left field corner, allowing Rahill to score all the way from first and boosting the Sea Gull lead to 4-1.
- The Sea Gulls picked up a couple more in the fourth. Caster led off with a base hit, then Rice hit a flyball to right that Garrett Schwartzbeck dropped, putting men on second and third. With the infield drawn in, Hyder hit a grounder to short, but Caster beat the throw home to make it 5-1. Hyder took second on the throw home, and Rice tried to score on the throw to get Hyder but was thrown out at the plate.
- Hyder's adventure on the base paths continued as he advanced to third on a flyout and scored on a passed ball, giving SU a 6-1 cushion.
- E'town cut a big chunk off its deficit in the eighth. Eamon McCoubrey led off with a pinch-hit single and was pinch-run for by Chris McGill. McGill advanced to second on a groundout, then Andrew Fisher singled to put men on the corners. After Fisher stole second and a strikeout, Ben Watson hit a grounder to second that Frigiola booted, allowing both runners to score to make it 6-3.
- Robbie Bertucio followed with a bloop single to center, bringing Watson around and getting the Blue Jays within 6-4.
- Corey Burton kept any further damage at bay, coaxing a groundout to end the eighth and striking out the side in the ninth to nail down the victory.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Kavi Caster continued to produce in the leadoff slot for the Sea Gulls, going 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored.
- Stephen Rice finished 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Cameron Hyder went 1-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
- Ben Anderson, Sky Rahill, Dom Frigiola and Zach Geesaman each drove in a run.
- Jackson Balzan (2-1) won in his longest start of the season, allowing three unearned runs on four hits in 7.2 innings. Balzan walked two and struck out nine, including five looking, on 110 pitches.
- Corey Burton earned his first save of the year, finishing off the final 1.1 innings with three strikeouts in the ninth.
ELIZABETHTOWN GAME NOTES
- Andrew Fisher went 2-for-4 with a run scored at the top of the Blue Jay lineup.
- Robbie Bertucio picked up the only RBI of the game for E'town.
- Tyler Dunbar (1-3) suffered the loss, giving up six runs (four earned) on seven hits over four innings of work.
HOW IT HAPPENED – GAME 2
- Salisbury put up another first-inning crooked number in the nightcap. Stephen Rice slashed a one-out double down the right field line, then Cameron Hyder rolled a single through the right side to get Rice home. Right fielder Garrett Schwartzbeck let Hyder's grounder slip under his glove, and Hyder end up on third base, later scoring on a Ben Anderson groundout that put the Sea Gulls up 2-0.
- E'town answered with a manufactured run in the second. Garrett Schwartzbeck singled to lead off, stole second, took third on a sac bunt and scored on an Eamon McCoubrey RBI groundout to make it 2-1.
- Anderson got that run back for the Sea Gulls in the fourth, muscling a solo home run to right center despite the near-freezing conditions to push SU ahead 3-1.
- Ethan Wentzlaff kept the rally going with a one-out walk and promptly stole second. After a strikeout and a walk, Jimmy Adkins banged a line drive double over the center fielder's head, scoring both runners to make it 5-1.
- Rice jumpstarted a big fifth for Salisbury with a solo homer to right. Hyder and Anderson followed with back-to-back singles, then Rahill beat out a bunt single to load the bases with no out. Scott Cameron pulled a single through the right side to score Hyder, then Luke Weddell brought Anderson home with a sac fly to right center that made it 8-1.
- Adkins came up next and hit a grounder to short that A.J. Bednar threw away, allowing Rahill and Cameron to score. Kavi Caster came up next and hit a popup that fell into left center for an RBI double, capping a six-run fifth that put the Sea Gulls up 11-1.
- Salisbury kept pouring it on in the sixth. Wentzlaff scored on a wild pitch, then with the bases loaded and two out Josh Barke lashed a pinch-hit two-run single up the middle to make it 14-1.
- The Blue Jays got one run back in the seventh on a bases-loaded walk by Tyler McGonigle.
- The Sea Gulls tacked on one more in the eighth as Patrick Campbell led off with a double and scored on a Barke grounder-turned-error at first, giving the game its final 15-2 margin.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Ben Anderson continued his impressive freshman season with another big game from the cleanup slot, going 3-for-6 with a double, home run, two RBIs and three runs scored.
- Stephen Rice finished 2-for-5 with a solo homer, his second of the week and fourth this season, and two runs scored.
- Jimmy Adkins busted out to go 2-for-4 with a double, run and two RBIs.
- Josh Barke had just two at-bats but produced runs in each of them, going 1-for-2 with three rib-eyes.
- Fifteen Sea Gulls got an at-bat in the game, with six of the eight non-pitcher positions seeing a different player finish the game than who had started it. Six different players accounted for SU's eight extra-base hits on the day.
- Mitchell Wittkamp (1-1) picked up his first career win in his first career start, allowing one run on three hits in five innings with one walk and one strikeout.
- Justin McDermott tossed a scoreless sixth inning. After Brady Bash let a run score in the seventh, Brock Hilligoss got out of the jam in that inning, while Jaret Price and Ryan Shroyer tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively, in their season debuts.
ELIZABETHTOWN GAME NOTES
- Eamon McCoubrey and Tyler McGonigle drove in a run each for the Blue Jays.
- Nicholas Ortega (0-3) took the loss after surrendering five runs (four earned) on four hits in four innings.
- E'town committed more errors in the game (six) than they had hits (five).
- The Sea Gulls return to action on Tuesday afternoon against the Penn State Abington Nittany Lions.
- First pitch from Sea Gull Baseball Stadium is set for 3 p.m. with coverage on the Sea Gull Sports Network (SGSN) beginning at 2:45 p.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.