SALISBURY, Md. – The 13th-ranked Salisbury University baseball team rolled to a doubleheader sweep over the Hood Blazers on Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Baseball Stadium. The Sea Gulls pounded out 17 hits on the way to a 13-5 victory in the opener, then rode eight strong innings from Jackson Balzan to an 8-0 one-hitter in the nightcap.
HOW IT HAPPENED – GAME 1
- The Sea Gulls jumped ahead in the first inning. Cameron Hyder and Dom Frigiola snuck back-to-back singles through the infield to set the table. Kavi Caster came up next and tagged a single into right to score Hyder. Caster then got caught in a rundown between first and second, and while he was tagged out Frigiola slid across the plate, putting SU on top 2-0.
- Hyder led off the third with another base hit, then two batters later Caster ripped a triple down the right field line to get him home. Stephen Rice was plunked by the next pitch and stole his way to second, then Sky Rahill looped a single into left, scoring Caster and Rice to make it 5-0.
- The Blazers threatened to get back into it in the top of the fourth but ran themselves out of a rally. With two men on and no out after an error and an infield hit, Joe Monteleone laid down a would-be sac bunt, but catcher Zach Geesaman's throw to first base hit Monteleone in the back while he was inside the base paths. Monteleone was called out on interference and the runners were forced to stay at their bases.
- Scott Cameron made a diving catch on a Jack Patterson liner to left for the second out, then after a walk loaded the bases, Jimmy Adkins struck out A.J. Haines to get out of the jam.
- The Sea Gulls answered the would-be rally with a big inning of their own in the home fourth. With Patrick Campbell on second and one out, Frigiola and Caster legged out back-to-back RBI triples, then Rice dunked a single into left to score Caster and extend the Salisbury lead to 8-0.
- Salisbury tacked on another in both the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Hyder brought home Cameron with a two-out wind-assisted RBI double into left. Then with men on second and third and two out in the sixth, Josh Barke beat out a pinch-hit infield single to score another and make it 10-0.
- In the seventh Rice slashed a bases-loaded two-run double to right center, then Adam Tommer brought home another on a sac fly to push it to 13-0.
- Hood finally broke up the shutout in the eighth as Matt Schopf was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Matt Stout scored on a wild pitch, then Jacob Saylor and Haines poked back-to-back RBI singles. Tyler Schwarzman hit into an RBI groundout to make it a five-spot and cut the SU lead to 13-5.
- The Blazers would get no closer, though, as Brock Hilligoss came in and retired the final four batters to finish the job.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Kavi Caster turned in a monster game at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two triples, three runs and three RBIs. He also stole a base, one of six for the Sea Gulls in the game.
- Cameron Hyder went 4-for-4 with two doubles, one RBI and three runs scored from the leadoff slot.
- Stephen Rice finished 2-for-3 with a double, run and two RBIs, while Dom Frigiola went 2-for-4 with a triple, RBI and two runs.
- Sky Rahill drove in two runs, going 1-for-2.
- Salisbury got the leadoff man on in each of its first seven turns at-bat on the way to plating 13 runs on 17 hits.
- Jimmy Adkins (1-1) dominated on the hill to win his first start of the season, tossing six scoreless three-hit innings with one walk and six strikeouts on 76 pitches. In his last two outings, Adkins has pitched 13 innings and given up just two unearned runs while punching out 16.
- Justin McDermott, Brady Bash, Brandon Epstein and Brock Hilligoss combined to finish off the Blazers in the final three innings.
HOOD GAME NOTES
- Jacob Saylor finished 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Blazers' only multi-hit game.
- Matthew Stout and Sam Wheeler each went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
- Jack Martin (2-1) took the loss, surrendering eight runs on 11 hits in four frames.
HOW IT HAPPENED – GAME 2
- The Sea Gulls grabbed another early lead by scoring three in the second inning. Scott Cameron reached on an error at second to lead off, with Ethan Wentzlaff coming in to pinch-run after Cameron left with an injury. Josh Barke came up next and doubled to right to put men on second and third, and Luke Weddell was plunked to load the bases. Cameron Hyder lifted a sac fly into center to score Wentzlaff and advance the runners, then Dom Frigiola dropped a two-run single into left center to put SU up 3-0.
- Kavi Caster beat out a hustle double to lead off the fifth, then two batters later Sky Rahill brought him home with a single that made it 4-0.
- Jackson Balzan retired the first 16 men he faced, including seven in a row via strikeout to get to 5.1 perfect innings. He gave up his first baserunner on a walk to Anton Parmach, but Parmach was picked off from first moments later.
- Tyler Schwarzman came up next and singled up the middle for the Blazers' first and only hit, then James DeProspero walked to put two men on. Balzan would let it go no further, though, getting A.J. Haines to ground out back to the mound to preserve the goose egg.
- Salisbury gave Balzan a bigger lead with two in the seventh. Caster drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on a bad pickoff throw. Stephen Rice singled Caster home and took second on the throw, then after a groundout Zach Geesaman lashed a single into right, scoring Rice to boost the SU cushion to 6-0.
- The Sea Gulls tacked on two more unearned runs in the eighth as Hyder scored on a wild pitch and Frigiola came home on a dropped Caster popup, giving the game its final 8-0 margin.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Dom Frigiola finished 1-for-4 with a run and two RBIs for the Sea Gulls.
- Kavi Caster went 1-for-3 with a double, stolen base and two runs scored.
- Cameron Hyder stole three bases in the game, going 1-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored.
- Sky Rahill managed an RBI single to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
- Jackson Balzan (4-1) authored one of the best starts of his collegiate career to pick up his fourth straight win. Balzan struck out a career-high 13 batters, including seven straight in the fourth through sixth, on the way to eight one-hit innings. He walked two and hit one batter but made it through eight frames in 106 pitches.
- In his last four starts, Balzan is 4-0 with 31 strikeouts and one earned run allowed over 29 innings (0.31 ERA).
- Corey Burton pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to put a stamp on Salisbury's second clean sheet of the season.
HOOD GAME NOTES
- Tyler Schwarzman's two-out single in the sixth accounted for the only Blazer hit for the game.
- Gabe Rivera (1-1) suffered defeat after allowing three unearned runs on four hits in four innings.
- The Sea Gulls and Blazers will conclude their three-game series on Sunday afternoon.
- First pitch is 12 p.m. 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.