BUENA VISTA, Va. – The No. 17 Salisbury University baseball team picked up a doubleheader sweep on Saturday over Southern Virginia University, giving the team some momentum heading into the Capital Athletic Conference tournament. The Sea Gulls would take game one 8-5 and won the back end of the twin bill 12-5.
Salisbury (23-7) would need a comeback, and help from the Knights, in the late innings to pick up the win in game one. The Sea Gulls were kept off the scoreboard in the first six innings and found themselves trailing 4-0 with three innings remaining.
Senior Johnny Schiotis started the eighth with a single and was moved to second by a one-out single by freshman Tom LaBriola. Following a walk to senior Ken O'Neill to load the bases, pinch hitter Sam Myers doubled down the right field line to score Schiotis and LaBriola, narrowing the score to 4-3.
Southern Virginia (5-21) nearly got out of the inning with the lead but junior Tyler Illian reached base on an error, on what would have been the third out, with Myers and O'Neill coming across to take the lead. Two batters later, senior Quinn Griffith singled to left field to plate Illian and Grasso to cap the scoring for the inning, with the Sea Gulls ahead 7-4.
The Sea Gulls would tack on an insurance run in the ninth, when Myers singled to right center to score junior Austin Barefoot.
Southern Virginia would push across a run against junior Kyle Hamby in the ninth, but the right hander from Laurel, Md., would strike out the final two batters of the contest to seal the win.
Game two was a back-and-forth affair before the Sea Gulls would take control in the middle innings. Each team pushed across a run in the first inning and a pair in the second before Salisbury would bust open the game in the fifth. Errors again would play a part in the undoing of the Knights.
After Grasso and Griffith led off the inning with singles, Schiotis added his own single, and each runner moved up a base, with Grasso scoring after a Knight error. Junior Jordan Gowe and Myers would follow with successive sacrifice flies to give SU a 6-3 lead.
The Sea Gulls would tack on four runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach.
In the top of the fourth, senior Bill Root singled down the right field line, the 200th hit of his career. The Coatsville, Pa., native becomes the sixth player to reach the milestone in program history.
The Sea Gulls will next be in action on Tuesday, as the No. 2 seed in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament, hosting fifth-seeded Wesley College in the first round. That contest is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.