SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 4 Salisbury University baseball team picked up its first wins of the season on Saturday, sweeping Arcadia University in a double header at the SU Baseball Field. The Sea Gulls used comeback efforts in both games to win the first one 7-6 and the second 8-5.
Salisbury 7, Arcadia 6
The Knights struck quickly in the first game, scoring two in the top of the first. After taking advantage of a Salisbury wild pitch for the first run, Michael Nessell used an RBI single for the two-run lead, which would hold for the first three and a half innings.
After giving up the first-inning runs, starting pitcher Connor Reeves found his groove and only allowed one Arcadia hit over the next three innings to give the Gulls a chance to take the lead.
Senior Tyler Hrycak led off the bottom of the fourth with a single and was eventually driven in on a double into right field by junior Tom LaBriola for the Gulls' first run. It was the start of a big day for the Sea Gull catcher, who finished the two games a combined 4-for-5 at the plate, tallying two hits in each contest, with five total RBI, including three in the opening game.
LaBriola then came around in the next at-bat on a single by junior Robbie Jones.
Jones eventually came in to score on a throwing error by the Knights' catcher after a double-steal to grab the lead for the Gulls, 3-2.
The Knights responded with a three-run inning of their own to retake a two-run advantage in the fifth, but the Gulls knocked in two more in their half of the inning to again knot the score, 5-5.
After senior Alex Lipman walked to load the bases, Tom LaBriola then drove a fly ball into centerfield for a sacrifice fly, scoring Grasso.
An RBI single in the seventh put the Knights back on top by one, but the Gulls continued to have the answer, as another Tom LaBriola RBI hit, this time a single ripped down the right-field line, tied the game. In the next at-bat, Jones came to the plate and used a sacrifice fly to score the winning run in the inning.
Senior Jon Schmedel, who pitched two innings in relief, administered a one-two-three eighth inning to preserve the lead, before Grasso came in to earn his first save of the year in the ninth. Schmedel earned the win in the game for his first of the season.
Jones added two RBI in the game, finishing second on the team, while Hyrcak collected two hits and two runs scored.
Salisbury 8, Arcadia 5
Arcadia tallied the first run in the second game of the day, scoring one in the second, but Salisbury would again not let the leads last long.
Tom LaBriola drove in the Gulls' first run on an RBI single in the bottom of the second to tie the score, 1-1.
The Knights retook the lead with a three-run third, before the Gulls again matched the effort in their half of the frame. Lipman drove a double into right-center field, scoring Mike LaBriola and Grasso, before another RBI single from Tom LaBriola tied the score, continuing his strong effort.
Salisbury's big inning came in the fifth to grab its first lead. Trailing by one after an Arcadia sacrifice fly in the top half of the inning, Grasso walked to begin the inning, but two quick pop outs looked to snuff the at-bat. The Sea Gulls were up to the challenge however, as junior Kevin Dean began the two-out rally with a pinch-hit RBI double into right center, scoring Grasso.
The Knights intentionally walked Tom LaBriola, before Jones drew his own walk to load the bases for freshman Jack Barry. Barry ripped a double over the right fielder's head, scoring all three base runners to take the 8-5 advantage for good.
Freshman AJ Korczynski retired the side in order in the sixth, on the way to his first collegiate win, before junior Ryan Daiss closed the door in the final frame of the seven-inning contest for his first save.
Barry led the way in the second contest with three RBI, while Lipman tied Tom LaBriola for second on the team in the game with two.
Salisbury is back in action on Tuesday, March 1 in a single game against Washington College at the SU Baseball Field; the first pitch is set for 2 p.m.