APPLETON, Wis. – The No. 7 Salisbury University baseball team dropped its opening contest of the Division III College World Series, Friday afternoon at Fox Cities Stadium. The Sea Gulls dropped a close contest, 4-3, to No. 5 State University of New York at Cortland.
Cortland (36-8) would jump out to an early lead, thanks to some help from the Sea Gulls. Leadoff hitter Mark DeMilio singled through the left side and stole second as Conrad Ziemendorf struck out. With Anthony Iacomini at bat, DeMilio advanced to third and then scored on two separate wild pitches by Sea Gull starter Brett Collacchi.
After a Sea Gull error and a walk, Iacomini scored on a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 Cortland lead.
In the fourth, the Sea Gulls would get on the board with the aid of two Red Dragon errors. With the bases loaded, senior Ken O'Neill reached base on the second straight Cortland error, bringing in junior Bobby Sanzone to cut the lead to 2-1. Salisbury (37-8) still had the bases loaded with one out but was unable to cause any further damage.
Cortland would respond with a pair of runs in the fourth, Collacchi's final inning, to push its lead to 4-1. In four innings of work, the Bear, Del., native let up the four runs, two earned, on two hits. The righty allowed six Cortland batters to reach on walks and struck out one Red Dragon.
Freshman Ryan Daiss would work the next three innings, keeping the Red Dragons off the board and Salisbury within striking distance.
The Sea Gulls would get two back in the eighth and threatened for more. Seniors Quinn Griffith and Johnny Schiotis began the inning with singles, and were moved into scoring position by a Sanzone sacrifice bunt.
Junior Jordan Gowe was up next and reached on an error that scored both Griffith and Schiotis to cut the lead to 4-3.
The Sea Gulls had a chance to possibly tie the contest but a fine defensive play by Cortland ended the inning. After Gowe, junior Austin Barefoot appeared to send a single to right center, but DeMilio, the Red Dragon second baseman, made a leaping grab and doubled off Gowe at first to end the inning. If Demilio didn't make the grab, Gowe would have likely advance to third to give Salisbury the tying run on third with just one out.
Sophomore Jon Schmedel worked the eighth inning, getting through the frame with the score still at 4-3.
Salisbury would not go quietly in the ninth but were unable to push across the tying run. Senior Bill Root reached base on the fourth Cortland error and would proceed to steal second.
Griffith came up next, with the chance to tie the game, but skied the first pitch to center for the final out of the game.
The loss snaps the Sea Gulls' 20-game winning streak.
The Sea Gulls await the loser of the University of Southern Maine/University of Wisconsin-Whitewater contest. The elimination game is scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m., eastern time, on Saturday.