Baseball splits day one of CAC opening round

Baseball splits day one of CAC opening round

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 6 Salisbury University baseball team advanced to day two of the opening weekend pod of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament after splitting its two contests on Friday afternoon at Sea Gull Baseball Stadium. The Sea Gulls topped Southern Virginia University to eliminate the Knights, 6-2, before falling to Penn State University-Harrisburg in the final game of the day, 5-0.

Salisbury 6, Southern Virginia 2

The Sea Gulls put together a strong offensive performance in the opener while junior Clayton Dwyer rolled through seven strong innings on the mound for the victory.

Playing as the visiting team, Salisbury scored in the top of the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Jimmy Adkins before the Knights (15-19) tied the game in the bottom of the frame.

Jimmy Monaghan's single in the top of the third plated Cameron Hyder for a 2-1 lead and Salisbury didn't trail the rest of the way.

A wild pitch brought another Salisbury run home in the fourth and three runs on three hits opened it up in the sixth.

A pair of walks started the sixth inning before a trio of two-out extra-base hits allowed Salisbury to bring home the three runs. Hyder sent the first home with a ground-rule double to score Brandon Bonesteel before Justin Meekins tripled to score Hyder. After a pitching change, Monaghan greeted relief pitcher Austin Forsyth with a double, bringing Meekins home for a 6-1 lead.

The Knights scored again in the bottom of the seventh, but it was all they would manage in the contest, seeing their run in the tournament come to a close.

Dwyer went seven innings, giving up just the two runs, while scattering eight hits. He walked none and struck out eight to pick up his seventh win of the year.

Daniel Frake pitched the final six outs off the contest, striking out four of the batters he faced to close the game.

Penn St.-Harrisburg 5, Salisbury 0

The Lions (30-10-1) jumped out early in the top of the first inning. Bret Williams, who connected on two home runs against the Knights in the tournament opener, added a third one to his day with a solo shot to straight away center field for the 1-0 lead.

The visitors doubled their lead in the third inning on a wild pitch that scored Tyler Aug from third base, then made it 3-0 two innings later when Zack Koroneos delivered a solo blast to right field.

The Lions added two more runs in the eighth on a pair of bases-loaded singles into right field to cap off the scoring for the day.

Salisbury (33-7-1) struggled to solve Harrisburg starting pitcher Travis Van Houton all afternoon, who picked up his sixth win and second complete game of the season with the shutout. Van Houton scattered six hits – three of which were recorded by Salisbury leadoff hitter Hyder – while striking out seven Sea Gulls and allowing only one walk.

The Sea Gulls will take on Harrisburg on Saturday morning, beginning at 11 a.m., at Sea Gull Baseball Stadium. With a win in the game, Penn State-Harrisburg will advance to next week's CAC championship series. If the Sea Gulls claim the opener, it would force a final game to determine who advances.

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