FROSTBURG, Md. – The No. 4 Salisbury University baseball team fell behind by five runs early, but rallied back to score four runs before falling to the No. 24 University of Mary Washington 5-4 in the second round of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament.
The Eagles (27-5) would strike first in the contest, scoring a run in the top of the first off an RBI single from Mitch Moynihan to take a 1-0 lead before the Mary Washington offense tallied four more runs in the second to take an early 5-0 advantage.
After the rough start in the first two innings, senior pitcher Brett Collacchi and Salisbury's defense held strong and kept Mary Washington scoreless for the rest of the game.
The Sea Gulls (22-3) were held scoreless for the first three-and-a-half innings, but in the bottom of the fourth, Salisbury scored two runs to get on the score board.
Sophomore Pete Grasso found himself in scoring position after reaching first on an error by the second baseman and taking second on a wild pitch. With one out on the board, senior Bobby Sanzone connected with the first hit of the game for the Sea Gulls, blasting a single through the left side to score Grasso and make the score 5-1.
Sanzone quickly stole second and junior Alex Lipman was walked before both runners advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. Senior catcher Austin Barefoot stepped up to the plate and did his job, hitting the ball high into center field for a sacrifice fly that sent Sanzone home and brought the score to 5-2.
The bottom of the fifth inning saw the Sea Gulls edge even closer to the Eagles, scoring two more runs in the inning to make the score 5-4.
Junior Jake Dmiterchik got things started in the inning with a leadoff single to left field. Senior Kyle Hayman sent Dmiterchik to second when he powered a single through the left side and a sacrifice bunt from Grasso moved both runners up a base, before Hayman advanced to third and Dmiterchik scored on a groundout. An RBI infield single from Sanzone recorded the final run of the inning, sending Hayman across home plate.
Collacchi and the defense kept the Eagles from doing anymore damage in the contest for the rest of the game, leaving it up to the offense to make something happen.
Salisbury threatened in the bottom of the ninth and came close to pulling out the victory, but fell just short.
Senior Danny Breen got things started in the inning with a leadoff single up the middle and was moved to second on the next at-bat on a sacrifice bunt from Dmiterchik. Mary Washington starting pitcher Ryan Van Assche intentionally walked Hayman before the Eagles made a pitching change, sending Tyler Daig to the mound.
Grasso reached on a fielder's choice which advanced Breen tothird and put Hayman out at second. With two outs and runners on the corners, senior Jordan Gowe stepped up to the plate as the Sea Gulls' last chance, but Daig came through for Mary Washington, earning the strikeout to win the game.
Collacchi went all nine innings on the mound for Salisbury, notching three strikeouts and giving up four earned runs, while Van Assche captured the win for Mary Washington, pitching 8 1/3 innings of work and striking out seven.
The second-seeded Sea Gulls now get set to take on No. 6 seed Christopher Newport University in an elimination game in Frostburg, Maryland on Saturday, April 18. The first pitch for the contest is set for 12:30 p.m.