May 17, 2014

Sea Gulls use the long ball for 6-2 win over No. 20 Case Western Reserve

MARIETTA, Ohio – The No. 7 Salisbury University baseball team remained in the winners' bracket of the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional with a 6-2 win over No. 20 Case Western Reserve University on Saturday afternoon at Don Schaly Stadium.

Salisbury (35-7) would get on the board in the top of the first, with some help by the Spartans. Junior Kyle Hayman started the contest by reaching on a Case Western Reserve (31-11) error, advancing to second on an errant throw. 

Freshman Pete Grasso would advance Hayman to third with a ground ball to the right side, putting him on third with one out. Senior Quinn Griffith would drive him in with a single through the left side for the early lead.

Case Western Reserve pushed across a run to knot the score in the third, but the Sea Gulls would answer in a big way in the fourth, again with the aid of the Spartans. 

Junior Bobby Sanzone led off the inning by reaching base on a Case Western Reserve error. Classmate Jordan Gowe made the Spartans pay for the mistake, blasting a two-run shot to left center for a 3-1 Salisbury lead.

The Sea Gulls would use the long ball to further their lead in the seventh. With one out, Grasso drew a walk that chased Spartan starter Kevin Johnstone from the contest. Connor Tagg would come on in relief and was greeted by Griffith, who launched a shot, on a 1-0 pitch, over the left-center field fence for a 5-1 lead.

Case Western Reserve threatened in the eighth inning and chased Salisbury starter Dan Fein in the process. Andrew Gronski would reach on an error to open the inning, and following the first out of the inning, the Spartans loaded the bases with back-to-back singles.

Head Coach Doug Fleetwood would bring in sophomore Jon Schmedel, who induced an inning-ending double play off the bat of Antonio Damiano to end the threat.

Salisbury would add an insurance run in the ninth, putting together a two-out rally. With two down, Sanzone would be hit by a pitch and proceeded to steal second base. Gowe would draw a walk and classmate Austin Barefoot came through with an RBI single down the right field line for a 6-1 lead. 

The Spartans would not go quietly in their half of the ninth, as they pushed across a run and threatened for more. After striking out the leadoff batter, Schmedel gave up three-consecutive singles, the third brought in the final run of the contest and would be Schmedel's final batter faced.

Junior Kyle Hamby would come in and get the second out before giving up a single to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate. The Laurel, Md., native would get Jordan Swisher to fly to out to center to end the contest. 

Griffith had a strong game, picking up four of Salisbury's eight hits and had three RBIs.

The Spartans had 14 hits in the contest, with William Meador collecting a team-high three base knocks. Kerrigan Cain, Andrew Frey and Gronski each had two hits for Case Western Reserve.

Fein allowed a single run on 10 hits, while striking out and walking one.

The Sea Gulls will take on Widener University tomorrow at 11 a.m., a contest between the two remaining unbeaten teams in the regional.

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