Sea Gulls lock up top playoff seed with sweep of Lions

Sea Gulls lock up top playoff seed with sweep of Lions

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University baseball team swept its doubleheader against Capital Athletic Conference opponent Penn State University-Harrisburg at Sea Gull Baseball Stadium on Saturday afternoon, 11-3 and 14-3, respectively. With the sweep, the team locks up the No. 1 seed in next week's CAC tournament.

Game 1: Salisbury 11, Penn State-Harrisburg 3

The first two innings of the first game flew by quickly, but the Sea Gulls (28-10, 15-3 CAC) pounced on the Lions (28-10, 12-6 CAC) in a big way in the third, scoring seven runs.

With one away in the inning, Justin Meekins and Jack Barry hit back-to-back triples to score the first run. A sacrifice fly by Scott Ardoin in the next at-bat scored Barry from third to make is 2-0. Both Jack Decker and Will Gutekunst followed with walks. A Matt Padeway single up the middle scored Decker from second before the third triple of the inning by Colby Dean pushed both Gutekunst and Padeway across home plate. A double to right field by Jay Perry and a single down the left field line by Kyle Canavan would plate the final two runs of the inning.

The Sea Gull bats broke out again in the eighth inning. Dean launched a one-out solo home run – his fifth on the year – to push the Salisbury lead to 8-2. Meekins was able to reach base on a fielding error a couple of at-bats later that allowed Perry to score from third base. The final two runs of the inning came on a Barry home run to left field – his sixth of the season – in the following at-bat.

Starting pitcher Austin Heenan (8-3) earned the win, going six innings, striking out nine batters, and allowing only one run on five hits.

Game 2: Salisbury 14, Penn State-Harrisburg 3

The Sea Gulls wasted no time building a big lead in game two, scoring 10 of their 14 runs in the first two innings.

A four-run first inning included a Decker two-run double, and an RBI triple by Padeway resulting in a second run after he was able to advance home on a throwing error to finish the play.

Salisbury added another six in the second inning. A bases-loaded walk by Ardoin scored the first run before a single down the left field line by Decker scored two more. After a walk by Gutekunst loaded the bases once again, Padeway was hit by a pitch to force home the fourth run of the inning. The final two runs of the inning came when Dean smacked a single to left field.

Starting Pitcher Connor Reeves (11-3) continued his successful season by tossing one of his best games of the year. He allowed only one base runner – a second-inning walk – through his first six innings of work, and didn't allow a Lion hit until the second at-bat of the seventh inning. He exited the game in the ninth inning with 10 strikeouts, a walk, and two hits. Reeves' 11th win currently has him alone atop all of Division III in that category. His 0.77 WHIP ranks fourth in Division III.

As the top seed in next week's CAC tournament, Salisbury will host York College of Pennsylvania and Frostburg State University. The two visiting opponents will represent the Nos. 4 and 6 seeds, but as to who represents which seed will not be determined until the two teams face off at Frostburg on Monday afternoon.

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