Big first inning helps lift Sea Gulls past Captains, 12-7

Big first inning helps lift Sea Gulls past Captains, 12-7

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The No. 3 Salisbury University baseball team used a big first inning to help earn a 12-7 victory over Christopher Newport University in Capital Athletic Conference action on Thursday afternoon.

The Sea Gulls (16-0, 11-0 CAC) did not waste any time getting on the scoreboard, tallying five runs and batting around the lineup in the top of the first inning.

Senior Kyle Hayman led off for SU and reached first after he was hit by a pitch. A single up the middle from sophomore shortstop Pete Grasso moved Hayman to second before senior Jordan Gowe was walked, advancing Grasso into scoring position at second and Hayman at third.

The cleanup hitter, senior Bobby Sanzone, stepped up to the plate and singled up the middle, scoring Hayman and Grasso and sending Gowe to third, before a sacrifice fly from senior Austin Barefoot would score Gowe and give the Gulls a 3-0 lead.

A double into right center from senior Danny Breen scored the final two runs of the inning, sending Sanzone and junior Tyler Hrycak across home plate.

Salisbury added another run in the top of the second to take a commanding 6-0 lead early in the contest.

Grasso tripled into right center for the first hit of the inning, and Sanzone mimicked the shortstop, hitting a triple of his own to score Grasso.

The Gulls gave up a run in the bottom of the second, but SU answered in the top of the third, tallying two more runs to take an 8-1 advantage.

After Captains' pitcher Adam Emerson walked Barefoot and Hrycak to open the half-inning and put runners on second and first, respectively, a sacrifice bunt from Breen advanced both runners up a base and into scoring position, before junior Jake Dmiterchik connected with a two-RBI single into shallow left field.

Christopher Newport (10-11, 4-9 CAC) notched another run in the bottom of the third, but Salisbury would provide more offense in the fifth and sixth innings to take an 11-2 lead and keep the game under control.

The Captains tried to make a comeback late in the game, scoring three runs in the seventh and adding an additional run in the eighth to cut the Sea Gulls' lead to 11-7, but SU would notch its final run in the top of the ninth and keep CNU scoreless in the bottom half of the inning to close out the game.

Junior Connor Shockley was the starting pitcher for the Sea Gulls and earned the win on the mound, improving his record to 3-0. Shockley scattered five hits and three runs and added a strikeout in his 5 1/3 innings of work. Senior Dylan Anderson came in to pitch an inning of relief halfway through the top of the sixth before Grasso moved to the mound from shortstop to close out the final 2 2/3 innings.

Salisbury will be back at home on Saturday, April 4 when it takes on Southern Virginia University in a conference doubleheader at the SU Baseball Field on a day that will recognize the CAC Silver Anniversary Team. The first pitch is set for 12 p.m.

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