SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 24 Salisbury University baseball team dropped its third game in as many tries Sunday falling to No. 1 State University of New York at Cortland 7-2. The Sea Gulls were unable to generate any offense against the Red Dragons pitching staff and were held to just four hits on the afternoon.
SUNY Cortland (2-0) was held in check by Salisbury (2-3) starting pitcher Brad Keith for the better part of three innings. The Red Dragons finally managed to break through in the top half of the fourth however. Back-to-back walks placed runners on first and second with no outs. Keith managed to get two straight outs via a strikeout and pop out and looked like the Sea Gulls would get out of the inning unscathed. A wild pitch and a walk though loaded the bases opening the door for SUNY Cortland catcher Jack Massa who singled to center field driving in two runs for the early 2-0 lead.
The Red Dragons added to their lead in the top half of the fifth inning sending five runs across the plate. Steve Figueroa hit a bases clearing triple to score the first runs of the inning and extend the lead to 4-0. An RBI single the very next at-bat plated Figueroa stretching the lead to 5-0. Massa struck again later in the inning driving a two-run RBI double to left field to make the score 7-0.
In the bottom half of the inning the Sea Gulls offense began to show signs of life though. Both Jack Barry and Kevin Dean singled to give Salisbury runners on first and second with only one out. Salisbury loaded the bases after a Scott Ardoin single during the very next at bat. With three on and one out Justin Meekins stepped up and drove in the first run of the game for the maroon and gold after being hit by a pitch making the score 7-1.
After a foul out that led to the second out of the inning Tom LaBriola stepped to the plate and looked to make an impact on the game. LaBriola drew a walk to score Dean and cut the deficit to just five. However, the offense stalled as a strikeout ended the threat and the inning, leaving the score at 7-2.
From that point on both bullpens took over and shutdown the offenses. Pete Grasso entered the game for the Sea Gulls and was brilliant over the course of four innings. Grasso allowed just three hits with zero walks while striking out six batters.
The SUNY Cortland bullpen was equally as impressive over the final four innings combining for one hit, two walks, and eight strikeouts.
Barry and Ardoin combined to go 2-for-8 while scoring two runs between them.
Salisbury returns to action on February 25 for its first double header of the season when it takes on the State University of New York at Oswego. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.