Salisbury continues Mid-Atlantic Regional against Penn State-Berks

Salisbury continues Mid-Atlantic Regional against Penn State-Berks

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 10 Salisbury University baseball team will begin the third day of the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional tournament with a 10 a.m., contest against Penn State University-Berks.

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How we got here

The Sea Gulls avoided elimination by defeating Salve Regina University during the second day of action on Thursday, 5-3. Junior Pete Grasso pitched six innings, allowing only one run and three hits, while striking out eight to lead the way. He also drove in a run as part of a three-run third inning to give Salisbury an early lead. Senior Alex Lipman then came through with a two-run single in the eighth to help put the game away.

How they got here

Penn State-Berks won its first game of the regional tournament on Wednesday, 3-1, over Misericordia University to move into the winners' bracket. However, the Nittany Lions fell in their second game of the tournament, 10-5, to University of Massachusetts Boston. The Lions took a 3-0 lead in the first four innings, but the Beacons came roaring back with an eight-run fourth and never looked back. John McGarvey led Berks with two RBI in the game.

Series history

This will be the first-ever meeting between Salisbury and Penn State-Berks.

Scouting Penn State-Berks

The Nittany Lions have another one of the stronger offenses in the country, ranking 19th with 8.1 runs scored per game. They also know how to get on base, ranking No. 25 with a .413 on-base percentage on the season. Tom Grablewski leads the way with a .397 average and 38 RBI. Sean Pavlik heads the pitching staff with a 2.27 earned-run average and a 9-2 record.

Let's get streaky

With the Sea Gulls advancing to the NCAA tournament this season, the program has now made 17-straight appearances in the national playoff. Salisbury's streak began in the 2000 season and has included 12 CAC championships and five College World Series berths. It is the second-longest active streak in Division III for advancing to the tournament, only behind State University of New York at Cortland's 24-straight appearances.

Getting it done at the plate and on the mound

Junior Pete Grasso brings a dual threat to the Salisbury roster, as one of the team's top hitters and pitchers. As a mainstay in the middle of the lineup, Grasso has posted a .416 average, to go with 64 hits, seven home runs, 14 doubles, and four triples. He has also driven in 46 runs. His doubles and triples lead the team, while he is second in hits, tied for second in homers, and is third in batting average and RBI. On the mound, he leads the team with seven wins and three saves, along with 55 strikeouts, in a team-high 15 appearances. Grasso has been dependable in big moments, as well, winning two games in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament, including the CAC championship game.

What's next?

The winner of the contest will play again on Friday in the final game of the day at 7:45 p.m., with a chance to move on to the final day of action on Saturday.

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