NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The No. 4 Salisbury University baseball team opened Capital Athletic Conference play on Wednesday afternoon with a 14-7 victory at Christopher Newport University.
The Sea Gulls' offense found success early and often, building a 6-0 lead through the first inning and a half. Senior Kyle Goodwin sparked the team with a lead-off double to start the game, and classmate Alex Lipman followed with a walk to put two on with no outs.
Two batters later, LaBriola came through again with runners in scoring position, ripping a double into the right-center gap for a 2-0 lead and his eighth and ninth two-out RBI of the season.
After starting pitcher, senior Jeff Oster, retired the Captains in order in the bottom of the first, Salisbury tacked on four more in the second.
The Sea Gulls quickly got runners on second and third, after a single by sophomore Brad Keith and a double from senior Tyler Hrycak. Keith scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of junior Kevin Dean, followed by another double from Goodwin to score Hrycak, pushing the lead to 4-0.
Lipman walked, setting up back-to-back two-out RBI singles by Dmiterchik and LaBriola, giving the Gulls the six-run edge. LaBriola now holds a .643 average when hitting with two outs on the season, to go with 10 two-out RBI; he is also batting .667 with runners in scoring position.
The Captains cut into Salisbury's lead in the bottom of the inning with a two-run home run, but the Gulls got the runs back in the top of the fourth.
CNU threatened again in the third with two on and one out, but Oster forced a foul out and a ground out to end the inning.
In the fourth, Lipman singled and stole second, before advancing to third on a single by junior Pete Grasso and scoring on a single from Dmiterchik. Grasso then came home on a sacrifice fly by LaBriola, for LaBriola's fourth RBI in the game.
Dmiterchik came through again in the fifth inning, hitting his second home run of the season, pulling a 1-and-2 pitch over the left-field wall for a three-run shot. The hit put Salisbury's lead up to 11-2 and helped the Milton, Delaware native to a team-high six RBI on the day, tying a career high in the process.
The Captains came back with a three-run homer of their own in the bottom of the fifth, but Salisbury added another three-spot in the sixth to put the game out of reach. Dmiterchik added his final RBI in the inning to cap the scoring.
Sophomore Connor Reeves earned the win in the game, pitching 4 2/3 innings in relief for the Gulls, allowing only two runs, as CNU scored one each in the sixth and ninth innings, respectively, while allowing only four hits and striking out two. The game marked Reeves' second victory of the season.
Dmiterchik and LaBriola both tallied three hits in the game to lead the team, while Lipman came in for three runs scored.
Salisbury will be back in action on Saturday, March 12th in CAC double-header action at Southern Virginia University; the first game is set to begin at 12 p.m.