Baseball to take on Roanoke in round one of NCAA tournament

Baseball to take on Roanoke in round one of NCAA tournament

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University baseball team will travel to Danville, Virginia to take on Roanoke College in round one of the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament at Averett University starting at 11 a.m., on Thursday, May 18.

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How we got here

Salisbury captured its 14th Capital Athletic Conference title defeating University of Mary Washington 21-0. The Sea Gulls swept the conference tournament cruising to the championship scoring an unprecedented 82 runs while holding their opponents to 17 total runs. In all four of the CAC tournament games the maroon and gold plated at least 15 runs, scoring 21 or more runs in three of them including the semifinal and final.    

How they got here

Roanoke won its first ever Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship sweeping Washington & Lee University by scores of 4-3 and 9-6. The Maroons made the ODAC tournament as the lowest seed and after falling to No. 10 Shenandoah University in the first round, 4-2, rallied off four straight wins including a dramatic 11-9 win over Randolph-Macon College in 11 innings in the semifinal game. Roanoke posted a record of 29-16 while going 9-11 in ODAC play this season.

Scouting the Maroons

Roanoke totaled team averages of .300 in batting, .391 on-base, and a .403 slugging percentage, while belting 12 home runs and plating 300 runs in 45 games. The Maroons offense is led by Sean Guida, Will Decker, and Collier Donald. All three players have batting averages of .315 or higher while also driving in 31 or more RBI. Guida posted a team-high batting average of .333 while driving in 31 RBI. Donlad recorded team high in RBI (38), home runs (five), on-base percentage (.470), and slugging percentage (.490). Decker finished just behind his teammate in RBI with 35 and finished tied for second in home runs with two.

The last time we met

This will be the first ever meeting between Salisbury and Roanoke in each programs' history.

Common opponents

Both teams played against three common opponents this past season with two of the team's coming from the CAC. Roanoke opened the season against Frostburg State University in a three game series winning two of three. The Maroons outscored the Bobcats 22-19 overall winning by scores of 10-7 in game one and 4-3 in game two. Salisbury swept the season series with Frostburg St., on April 2 by the scores of 6-1 and 9-7.   

Roanoke also took on Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg but fell to the Lions by the final score of 9-6. Meanwhile the Sea Gulls swept Penn St.-Harrisburg by the combined score of 24-3.

The final team was ODAC opponent No. 10 Shenandoah University. The Hornets defeated the Maroons in the regular season by a combined score of 12-3 and then defeated Roanoke again in round one of the ODAC tournament 4-2. Salisbury had better luck against the Hornets knocking off the top team in the nation on April 30 by the final score of 8-4.

Long ball

Salisbury is tied for first nationally with East Texas Baptist University for the most home runs in the nation, belting 49 this season. Jack Barry leds the team with 12 long balls this season while Jay Perry and Pete Grasso have belted nine and eight, respectively. Five players on the team are currently tied with three home runs a piece while five others have at least one. Overall, 13 players have recorded home runs this season with 11 of those players playing in at least 14 games.

What's next?

The winner will take on the loser of Rowan University and Emory University on Friday, May 19 at 2:30 p.m. While the loser will play in an elimination game against the loser of No. 1 LaGrange (Ga.) College and Otterbein University on Friday morning at 11 a.m.  

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