SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University baseball team collected an impressive 10-0 shutout win over visiting Franklin & Marshall College Saturday afternoon. Senior pitcher Micah Wells was outstanding turning in a solid performance going six innings, allowing only four hits, while striking out five to pick up his first win of the season.
Wells was impressive from the get go for Salisbury (5-4) not allowing a baserunner or a hit until the fourth inning. He struck out three of the first nine batters he faced and forced four groundouts within the first three innings. Overall, he faced 22 batters totaling 78 pitches, 50 of which were strikes, while forcing eight total Franklin & Marshall (1-3) groundouts.
After jumping out to an early 2-0 lead in the first two innings the Sea Gulls offense exploded in three straight innings plating eight runs between the fourth and sixth innings including five in the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth three of the first four Salisbury batters reached base leaving bases loaded with one out for Tom LaBriola. The senior catcher came through with a clutch double to center field clearing the bases to blow the game wide open, 5-0. Simon Palenchar singled down the left field line later in the inning to score LaBriola making the score 6-0. After Kevin Dean drew a walk Scott Ardoin singled to short stop to score Palenchar.
LaBriola continued his solid day in the next inning tallying an RBI single scoring Justin Meekins in the bottom half of the fifth inning to extend the lead to 8-0. One inning later Kyle Canavan put an exclamation point on the offensive outburst launching a two-run home run to left field, his first of the season.
The bullpen took over from there to preserve the shutout. Andrew Kramer, Tyler Hickey, and Logan Manz combined to go three innings, allowing just one hit, and totaling four strikeouts. The three also combined to face ten batters recording 26 total strikes and allow one base runner for the Diplomats.
It's the Sea Gulls first shutout since March 23, 2016 when they defeated Washington College 7-0 and the first home shutout win since April 4, 2015 when they posted a 4-0 victory over Capital Athletic Conference opponent Southern Virginia University.
LaBriola finished the day 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored while Palenchar went 2-for-3 with an RBI and one run scored. Six other Sea Gulls tallied at least one hit in the contest including Ardoin who went 2-for-5 with two RBI and one run scored.
Salisbury returns to action on Sunday, March 5, when it hosts a double-header against the Red Devils of Dickinson College. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.