SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 24 Salisbury University baseball team defeated Gwynedd Mercy University 20-12 on Saturday afternoon in its season and home opener. The Sea Gulls had two eight-run innings coupled with three home runs to earn the victory.
Salisbury (1-0) jumped out to an early 8-2 advantage after exploding for eight runs in the bottom of the first. Justin Meekins led off for the maroon and gold and after leading off the inning with a single to center and advancing to second on a wild pitch he scored on a Kyle Canavan double to right field. After a Pete Grasso single plated Canavan to knot the game at 2-2 Jack Barry blew the game wide open. In his first at-bat of the season Barry blasted a three-run shot to straight away center to make it 5-2.
Meekins came to the plate once again later in the inning and tallied his second hit of the inning. He launched a two-run blast to make the score 8-2. Overall, the Sea Gulls sent 11 batters to the plate in the first inning alone.
The Griffins (0-1) came roaring back pulling within two, 8-6, after scoring two runs in both the second and third inning.
However, Salisbury once again exploded offensively between the third, fourth, and fifth innings plating 12 runs between the three. The Sea Gulls scored just one run in the bottom of the third inning but opened up the throttle offensively in the fourth recording their second eight-run inning of the game.
With two outs, Salisbury had runners on first and second and were holding on to a slim 9-6 lead. Three straight batters tallied RBIs as all eight runs scored with two outs on the board. Colby Dean got things rolling with a two-run double to center field scoring both Barry and Simon Palenchar. One batter later Ron Villone tripled into the gap in left field to plate Dean extending the lead to 12-6.
Meekins continued his successful day as he singled later in the inning to drive in Scott Ardoin to make it 14-6. Senior catcher Tom LaBriola capped off the inning belting a three-run bomb to right field to make it a 17-6 Sea Gull advantage.
Once again Meekins struck one inning later adding some insurance runs to the board. He would advance to second on a errant throw by the catcher that also plated Dean to extend the lead to 20-6.
Gwynedd Mercy tacked on six runs late scoring two runs in the sixth and four in the seventh but were be shutout for the remaining 2 2/3 innings.
Meekins finished the day 3-for-4 including a double and a home run with five RBI and three runs scored. Overall, the team combined for 17 hits and 20 runs scored.
Salisbury hits the road for game one of a two-game series with Virginia Wesleyan College starting on Sunday, February 12. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.