YORK, Pa. – Once again, the No. 5 Salisbury University baseball team put forth a strong offensive effort in the Mid-Atlantic Regional, this time notching a 13-3 win over Alvernia University on Friday, May 15 to advance to the regional championship game on Saturday, May 16.
Both teams were able to get runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings, but neither team could capitalize, until the Sea Gulls struck first in the top of the third.
With two outs on the board, back-to-back walks put senior Jordan Gowe and sophomore Pete Grasso on first and second, respectively. On the next at-bat, senior Bobby Sanzone took advantage, hitting a blooper into shallow right field that fell just in front of Ben Sawyer to get Grasso home for the first run.
After a scoreless fourth, Salisbury's offense opened up, bringing home three runs in the top of the fifth to go up 4-0.
Junior Kyle Goodwin placed a bunt perfectly down the third-base line to get an infield single to start the inning. Goodwin made his way all the way to third on the next two pitches, taking advantage of two wild pitches from Antonio Baglivo. With one out, Goodwin ran across home plate for the first run of the inning when Grasso reached on a muffed throw by Alvernia's first baseman. Grasso stole second before Gowe connected with an RBI single through the right side, causing a pitching change for the Crusaders. With Louis Marotta on the mound for Alvernia, senior Danny Breen notched a two-out single up the middle after Gowe stole second, bringing the Easton, Maryland native home for the final run of the inning.
The Crusaders rallied in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs to cut the Sea Gulls' lead to 4-3, but Salisbury answered back in the top of the sixth, bringing home four more runs to take an 8-3 lead.
Junior Alex Lipman started the inning with a single up the middle and scored on the next at-bat when junior Tyler Hrycak blasted an RBI double into right-center. Hrycak advanced to third when Goodwin laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached first on an error by the pitcher. A single through the right side from senior Kyle Hayman scored Hrycak and advanced Goodwin to third. Hayman stole second on the next at-bat before Goodwin took advantage of a groundout and scored. Then Gowe hit a single through the left side, sending Hayman home to cap the scoring in the inning.
Salisbury scored another two runs in the top of the seventh to take a commanding 10-3 lead. Senior catcher Austin Barefoot led off with a single up the middle before advancing to second on a passed ball. On the next at-bat, Lipman hit a sacrifice bunt to advance Barefoot to third, but a throwing error by Alvernia's pitcher brought Barefoot home and landed Lipman on first with no outs. Lipman moved over to second on a groundout before Grasso singled into right field with two outs to score Lipman.
The Sea Gulls tallied three more runs in the top of the ninth to take a 13-3 lead and close out the game.
SU once again had a balanced offensive effort, with five different Gulls recording three hits in the contest. Salisbury outhit Alvernia, 21-9, in the game.
Junior Jeff Oster pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing just two hits and recording four strikeouts to earn his first win of the season on the mound for Salisbury. Sophomore Ryan Daiss started on the hill for the Gulls, notching five strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings of work.
With the win, Salisbury moves on to the championship game on Saturday, May 16 at 3:30 p.m., with a chance to advance to its second-straight College World Series.