YORK, Pa. – The No. 5 Salisbury University baseball team used a collective effort from the offense, the defense, and its pitching to earn an 11-1 victory over Mitchell College in the first game of the Mid-Atlantic regional of the 2015 NCAA baseball tournament.
The Sea Gull offense opened up early, scoring four runs in the bottom of first inning to take a quick 4-0 lead.
Senior Kyle Hayman stepped up to the plate to lead off for Salisbury and hit a soft bunt toward Mitchell's pitcher and beat out the throw to get the infield single. Hayman stole second base and made his way to third on a throwing error by the catcher before sophomore Pete Grasso blasted a stand-up RBI triple off the center-field fence to score Hayman for the first run. Senior Jordan Gowe hit a deep fly ball into right field, which was good enough to score Grasso for the sacrifice. Senior Bobby Sanzone was walked and eventually made his way to third on an error and a wild pitch before senior Danny Breen powered a one-out double into left-center to score Gowe. Breen would steal third before senior Austin Barefoot executed a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher to score the final run of the inning.
In the bottom of the second, Salisbury extended its lead, scoring two more runs to take a 6-0 advantage over Mitchell.
Junior Tyler Hrycak led off the half-inning and was walked before he took second on a failed pickoff by the Mariners' pitcher. Junior Kyle Goodwin was hit by a pitch on the next at-bat and took first, causing Mitchell Head Coach Travis Beausoleil to make a pitching change. Hayman stepped up to bat and laid down a bunt and was just late to first, but the bunt was good for a sacrifice to put Hrycak and Goodwin into scoring position with just one out. On the next at-bat, Grasso hit a double off the left-field fence to score both Salisbury runners.
The Mariners were able to get a run across in the top of the third to break into the Sea Gulls' lead. Ryan Goodwin started the inning off with a single up the middle and ended up scoring the lone run of the inning on an error to put the score at 6-1.
Salisbury tallied two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to increase its lead to 8-1 thanks to RBI singles from Barefoot and Hrycak before the Sea Gull offense opened up again in the bottom of the sixth, tallying three more runs to cap the scoring in the game.
Senior Brett Collacchi, who started on the mound for the Sea Gulls, was a problem for the Marlins all game long. The Bear, Delaware native recorded 10 strikeouts, which is the most the pitcher has tallied in a single game in his career. Collacchi went eight innings, allowing just five hits and no earned runs to earn his sixth victory of the season and the 31st of his career. Senior Dylan Anderson came in to pitch the final inning, and closed out the game, retiring the side in order. Collacchi is now one win away from tying the program record for career wins, which is currently held by Dustin Herbert.
Grasso led Salisbury offensively, notching a double and a triple, along with three RBIs and a run scored. Hrycak was a key leader in the fielding department in the contest, recording six putouts in right field, including two diving catches.
The Sea Gulls will now take on the winner of the first-seeded Kean University/No. 8 seed Penn State University-Berks matchup, which is scheduled to begin today, Wednesday, May 13, at 1:50 p.m. Salisbury's game against the winner is set for Thursday, May 14 at 4 p.m.