MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The No. 7 Salisbury University baseball team finished the regular season on a high note with a come-from-behind 4-3 win over Montclair State University, Wednesday afternoon at Yogi Berra Stadium.
Salisbury (33-7) fell behind early when Montclair scored a run in the first but would take the lead in the third. Junior Kyle Hayman worked a one-out walk and then stole second with freshman Pete Grasso at the plate. Grasso would plate Hayman with a triple to the left-centerfield gap to tie the contest. The Sea Gulls would take the lead when senior Quinn Griffith followed with a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Grasso.
Montclair (22-18) scored runs in the fourth and seventh innings to take a 3-2 lead into the ninth. The Sea Gulls would not go quickly in the final frame.
Junior Austin Barefoot led off the inning with an infield single and was pinch run for by classmate Tyler Illian. Illian would move up 90 feet when senior Ken O'Neill was hit by the first pitch sent his way.
Senior Bill Root laid down a sacrifice bunt for the first out, moving each runner up a base and into scoring position. Hayman would tie the score when he reached on a fielder's choice, on which each of the runners was safe, with Illian coming home for a 3-3 tie.
The Sea Gulls would take the lead with some help from Montclair, as Grasso would reach on a Red Hawk error that allowed O'Neill to score the game winner.
Grasso would take the mound in the ninth and would issue a leadoff walk, putting the tying run on base. The Wilmington, Del., native would retire the next three hitters to earn the first save of his collegiate career.
Sophomore Connor Shockley started the contest, a game that was used to get Sea Gull pitchers work before the NCAA tournament. Seven Salisbury hurlers took the mound, with none going longer than Shockley's two innings of work.
Junior Kyle Hamby worked the last out of the seventh and the entire eighth inning to record the win on the mound.
Barefoot led the Sea Gull attack with two of the six Salisbury hits on the afternoon. The Red Hawk hitters were equally kept in check, garnering four hits in the contest. Grasso led Salisbury with a pair of RBIs.
The Sea Gulls will next be in action in the NCAA tournament a week from today. Salisbury, along with the rest of the field, will find out its fate on Monday, May 11, when the tournament bracket is released. Check www.suseagulls.com for more information as it becomes available.