YORK, Pa. – After notching a 16-5 win over Penn State University-Berks on Thursday night to earn its second victory of the Mid-Atlantic regional of the 2015 NCAA baseball tournament, the No. 5 Salisbury University baseball team now gets set to take on Alvernia University on Friday, May 15 at Santander Stadium in York, Pennsylvania. The game time is set for 4:30 p.m.
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How we got here
The fourth-seeded Sea Gulls earned an 11-1 win over Mitchell College in its first game of the regional tournament on Wednesday, May 13 before capturing another victory against Penn State-Berks on Thursday, May 14, taking the game, 16-5. Salisbury was kept scoreless in the first two innings, but it would not be a problem, as the Gulls scored at least one run in each of the next six innings to take control of the game. Senior Danny Breen and junior Kyle Goodwin led SU in the contest, notching five RBIs each and combining for four runs scored.
How they got here
Alvernia University, the No. 2 seed in the regional, earned its first win of the tournament in a close 3-2 victory over Catholic University of America on Wednesday, May 13 before taking down Misericordia University, 6-3, in the late game on Thursday, May 14. The Crusaders entered the top of the ninth inning down 3-1 to the Cougars, but Alvernia would rally, scoring five runs in the inning to take a 6-3 lead and eventually win the game after allowing no Misericordia runs in the bottom of the ninth. Brok Martin led Alvernia offensively in the game, tallying three RBIs and blasting a triple.
The Crusaders are led offensively by Ben Sawyer, who is one of the top hitters in the Middle Atlantic Conference and the entire nation. Sawyer has a team-high 68 hits on the season, which is second in the MAC, and is tied for first in the conference in runs scored with 49, which also leads the team. Sawyer also has a conference-high 10 home runs on the season, which is also tied for 14th in the nation. Sawyer's 59 RBIs is also in the top three in the nation. Cameron Coons has been another offensive threat for Alvernia, tallying 41 runs scored, which is fourth-best in the MAC.
Louis Marotta has been the top pitcher for the Crusaders this season, earning a 9-0 record on the hill with a 1.53 ERA and 31 strikeouts. Marotta has only given up eight earned runs in his 47 innings of work this year.
Tops in the nation
The Sea Gulls have several players that are putting up big numbers and many of them are ranked highly in the nation. Breen, who has been the designated hitter for Salisbury in 2015, is in the top 10 in the nation in batting average, recording a .453 mark. Senior center fielder Kyle Hayman also has one of the top batting averages in the NCAA, notching .398 average on the season. Hayman also ranks 30th in Division III in triples, blasting five this year, and 19th in triples per game, with a .18 average. Senior Jordan Gowe has been another force to be reckoned with on offense, as he is tied for 13th in the nation in doubles per game, with .50. The Bear, Delaware native has also found himself at No. 20 in the nation in runs batted in per game, recording a 1.29 mark this season. Bobby Sanzone, a senior standout at third base, has tallied 13 sacrifice bunts this season, which is puts him in the top five in the nation in the category.
The winner of the Salisbury/Alvernia game will move on to the championship game on Saturday, May 16 at 3:30 p.m., while the loser will take on the winner of the No. 8 seed Penn State-Berks/No. 3 seed Johns Hopkins matchup in an elimination game on Saturday, May 16 at 12 p.m.