Hoffman fires career-high seven shutout innings; No. 4 SU tops Catholic, 11-1

SALISBURY, Md. – Senior right-hander Jeff Hoffman pitched a career-high seven shutout innings and classmate Tyler Bennett went 3-for-4 with two runs driven in and one scored as the No. 4 Salisbury University baseball team defeated Catholic University of America, 11-1, at the SU Baseball Field on Wednesday.

Hoffman (5-0) scattered five hits and a walk while striking out four, leading Salisbury (21-4) to its 11th win in 12 games. Bennett paced a group of four Sea Gulls with multiple hits as Bill Root, Chris Connor and Kyle Hayman each tallied a pair of knocks.

Salisbury used a six-run fourth to break on top and added one in the fifth and two each in the sixth and seventh for the win.

Hoffman worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first inning, getting Catholic's Mark Kalokitis looking to end the inning and settled in until the SU offense came alive.

With Evan Graci up with no outs and the bases loaded in the fourth, CUA starter Justin D'Alessandro (1-1) uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Quinn Griffith from third for a 1-0 Salisbury lead. After Graci popped up, Ken O'Neill lined a 3-1 pitch up the middle to score Johnny Schiotis and Hayman to extend the lead to 3-0.

Reliever Kevin Farley came on and gave up singles to Root and Joey Jones that made it 4-0 prior to another run-scoring base hit, this one by Connor with two outs. Jones made it a six-run game when he came in on a Farley wild pitch.

Up, 7-0, in the sixth, Bennett scored on a fielding error by Catholic second baseman Kory Smigocki and Hayman took an 0-2 pitch up the middle to score Connor with one out for a 9-0 lead.

Catholic (16-9) broke up the shutout bid when Dan Haus doubled to right-center field with two outs in the eighth to score Mike McFarland.

D'Alessandro took the loss for the Cardinals in 3 1/3 innings. He surrendered four hits and four runs while walking three.

Matt Beck and Danny Druzgala pitched the eighth and ninth for Salisbury, respectively, striking out a combined four batters.

Tommy Little went 2-for-4 out of the leadoff spot to lead the Cardinals.

SU travels to York (Pa.) College this weekend. The teams will play one game Friday at 3:30 p.m., and a doubleheader Saturday, starting at noon. A series win for the Sea Gulls against the Spartans would lock up the top seed in the upcoming CAC tournament.

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