SALISBURY, Md. – After dropping a heart-breaking defeat to No. 24 University of Mary Washington in the second round of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament, the No. 4 Salisbury University baseball team will now get set to compete against Christopher Newport University in an elimination game. The contest is set for Saturday, April 18 and will begin at 12:30 p.m.
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How we got here
The No. 2 seed Salisbury fell behind 5-0 after and inning and a half against Mary Washington, but battled back, scoring a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth innings to cut the Eagles' lead to 5-4.
The Sea Gulls had a chance to score the tying run in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and runners on the corners, but they fell just short. Senior Bobby Sanzone led Salisbury in the game, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run scored.
How they got here
The No. 6 seed Christopher Newport faced off against No. 1 seed Frostburg State University in the first round of the tournament, falling in a 4-1 decision.
In the second round, the Captains' offense opened up, as it captured an 18-5 win over Wesley College on Thursday morning to eliminate the Wolverines from the tournament. CNU scored through the first 5 1/2 innings to take a 6-2 lead, before tallying 12 more runs in the final two innings to put the game away. Craig Johnson led the Captains on the day, going 4-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored, while Blake Ream picked up the win on the mound, recording 10 strikeouts.
Scouting Christopher Newport
The Captains enter Saturday's contest with a 16-13 overall record. Christopher Newport won its last four games before the CAC tournament to seal up the sixth and final seed. Offensively, the Captains are led by Brandon Ginch and Keith Roberts. Ginch and Roberts are both tied for first on the team in hits with 38, and in doubles with nine on the season. Ginch has connected for five home runs in 2015, which is tied for first on the squad, and leads the team in RBIs with 26. Roberts has powered two home runs and has the third-most RBIs on the team, recording 20 on the year.
Ream has been the star on the mound for Christopher Newport, earning a 4-2 record and tallying a team-high 41 strikeouts.
Gaining the upper hand
The Sea Gulls and the Captains have met twice this season and Salisbury has come out the victor on both accounts. On March 18, the Gulls used a seven-run third inning to help them earn a 12-3 win at the SU Baseball Field.
In the second matchup of the season, which took place in Newport News, Virginia, SU used a five-run first inning to jump out to a 7-2 lead over CNU heading into the fourth. The Captains would battle back, scoring five runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, but the Sea Gulls closed out the game to win 12-7.
The winner of Saturday's game will take on the loser of the Frostburg State/Mary Washington game at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 18. The loser of the Salisbury/Christopher Newport matchup will be eliminated from the tournament.