Sea Gulls split doubleheader with Lions; secure third seed in CAC tournament

Sea Gulls split doubleheader with Lions; secure third seed in CAC tournament

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 11 Salisbury University baseball team closed out the regular-season portion of its Capital Athletic Conference schedule on Saturday afternoon at the SU Baseball Field, splitting a doubleheader with Penn State University-Harrisburg. The Gulls dropped the first game, 15-13, before taking the second 15-8.

Penn State-Harrisburg 15, Salisbury 13

The Sea Gulls opened up with 10 runs in the first three innings to take a sizable lead early in the contest.

Taking advantage of five walks in the bottom of the first, Salisbury was able to send two runners across the plate without needing a hit for the 2-0 lead.

The Lions came back with two runs to start the second and tie the score, but the Gulls regained their advantage in the bottom of the frame. Senior Tyler Hrycak walked and classmate Kyle Goodwin was hit by a pitch to get on, before advancing to third and second, respectively, on a sacrifice bunt by senior Alex Lipman. Junior Tom LaBriola then drove a single up the middle to score both runners.

LaBriola later came in on a fielder's choice to push the lead to 5-2.

After Harrisburg tacked on two more in the third, the Gulls doubled their scoring with a five-run bottom of the inning. After two-straight RBI hits from Hrycak and Goodwin, LaBriola drove in his team-leading third RBI on a single through the left side of the infield.

Senior Jake Dmiterchik notched an RBI single to continue the inning, before junior Pete Grasso smashed a run-scoring triple into left center to take the 10-4 edge.

The Lions used two more two-run innings in the fifth and sixth to get back to within two runs, 10-8, but a two-run single off the bat of senior Mike LaBriola highlighted a three-run seventh for the Gulls. After tallying the insurance runs, the Sea Gulls held a 13-8 lead.

However, the Lions broke out for seven runs in the next inning to take their first lead, which they were able to hold for the win.

Dmiterchik led SU with four hits in the contest, while also scoring three runs. Tom LaBriola scored three times, as well, while collecting three hits.

Salisbury 15, Penn State-Harrisburg 8

The offenses continued to shine in the second game, as Harrisburg jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Salisbury stayed just as hot at the plate.

Goodwin doubled to lead off the bottom of the first, and Lipman followed with a single. Both runners were quickly plated, as Tom LaBriola blasted his fourth home run of the season, taking a 1-and-2 pitch to center field to cut the deficit to 4-3.

Dmiterchik kept things going with a double to left, before coming around to score on a single by Grasso, as the Sea Gulls opened the game with five-straight hits.

Mike LaBriola capped the inning and gave Salisbury a 5-4 lead, as he slapped a double down the left-field line to score Grasso.

Salisbury continued to build on the lead, as Dmiterchik hit a two-run homer in the second, and Hrycak crushed a no-doubt, two-run bomb to left in the third to push the advantage to 9-4.

The Lions got back three runs in the top of the fourth, but Salisbury did not give up the lead in the game, adding to it in the bottom of the inning with four runs.

Sophomore Brad Keith led the way with a two-RBI single, as the Gulls took a 13-7 lead into the fifth inning.

Salisbury's final two runs came in the seventh, with Lipman driving in the final one on a double into center.

Lipman notched four hits in the second game to lead the offense, as he also scored three runs.

Senior Jeff Oster earned his fourth win in the game, pitching seven innings and striking out six.

Between the two games, Tom LaBriola posted six RBI and five runs scored, while going 6-of-11 at the plate to lead the way. Dmiterchik tied for the lead with six RBI on the day; he added five runs scored.

The Sea Gulls now look to the 2016 CAC tournament for their next action. Salisbury will enter the tournament as the No. 3 seed and will host fourth-seeded Wesley College on Tuesday, April 19 in a first-round contest at the SU Baseball Field. The first pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.

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