SALISBURY, Md. – Behind eight strong innings on the mound from Jackson Balzan, the eighth-ranked Salisbury University baseball team shut down the York (Pa.) Spartans, 9-1, on Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Baseball Stadium.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Spartans manufactured a run to take the lead in the top of the second inning. Joe Capobianco led off with a bloop single to right and stole second, made it to third on a flyout, and scored on a DeVaughn Reid groundout to make it 1-0.
- The Sea Gulls answered and see-sawed in front in the bottom of the second. Dom Frigiola worked a four-pitch walk, then Scott Cameron clubbed a two-run homer to right center, his second of the year, putting SU on top 2-1.
- From there the game became a classic pitchers' duel, with Salisbury's Jackson Balzan and York's Steven Hendrix matching each other zero for zero for the next three full frames.
- SU tacked on an insurance run in the home sixth. Stephen Rice led off with a hustle double down the left field line and came home on a groundout and a Ben Anderson sac fly to right, boosting the Sea Gull cushion to 3-1.
- The Sea Gulls truly got to Hendrix in the seventh. Cameron legged out an infield single to lead off and stole his way to second base. After a strikeout, Zach Geesaman walked and Hendrix came out of the game. Kavi Caster drew a free pass from the new Spartan pitcher to load the bases, and Rice rolled a single through the left side, scoring Cameron and Geesaman to make it 5-1.
- Caster and Rice then executed a double steal, with Caster coming home on a bad throw from the catcher to put SU up 6-1.
- York threatened to get back into it with two out in the top of the eighth as Robby Elzinga walked and Austin Denlinger singled to left. Balzan buckled down, though, forcing Jack Barry to roll out harmlessly to short to retire the side.
- The Sea Gulls added three more for good measure in the bottom of the eighth. Trent Saunders and Cameron drew back-to-back one-out walks and each moved up on a wild pitch. Luke Weddell then worked his own walk, with Saunders coming home on a wild pitch on ball four to make it 7-1.
- Geesaman laid down a squeeze bunt to bring in Cameron and ended up on second after the pitcher threw it away. Caster was walked intentionally to load the bases, and Rice plated Weddell with a sac fly to left, giving the game its final 9-1 margin.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Scott Cameron bashed his second home run of the week, finishing 2-for-3 with two RBIs, three runs scored and a stolen base.
- Stephen Rice went 2-for-3 with a double, run, three RBIs and a stolen base.
- Zach Geesaman scored a run and drove in one on a squeeze bunt.
- Jackson Balzan (3-1) earned his third straight win, allowing one run on six hits in a season-long eight innings of work. Balzan walked one and struck out eight on 102 pitches.
- Justin McDermott finished off the game with a scoreless ninth, needing just seven pitches to get the final three outs.
YORK GAME NOTES
- Robby Elzinga went 2-for-3 at the top of the Spartan lineup.
- Joe Capobianco finished 1-for-4 with York's only run of the game. Andrew Santarpia doubled for the Spartans' only extra-base hit.
- Steven Hendrix (0-3) suffered the loss after allowing five runs on six hits in 6.1 innings. He walked two and fanned five.
- The Sea Gulls will conclude their three-day round-robin with a top-20 showdown against No. 16 Shenandoah on Sunday afternoon.
- First pitch 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.