SALISBURY, Md. – The top seeded Salisbury University baseball team will face off against No. 4 seed Penn State University-Harrisburg in day two of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament first round on Saturday, May 4.
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The Lions and Sea Gulls will square off in game four of the series set to begin at 11 a.m. If the Lions get the victory, they will advance to the championship round of the tournament. If the Sea Gulls win, they will force a game five that will begin at 2 p.m. The winner of that contest will advance to championship weekend to face off against the winner of the first round series between the University of Mary Washington and Christopher Newport University.
How we got here
The Sea Gulls captured to No. 1 seed in this year's Capital Athletic Conference tournament after finishing the regular season with a 19-2 conference record. By defeating Southern Virginia in its first game of the tournament on Friday, Salisbury advanced to day two while ending the Knights' season. The team dropped its second game of the day to the Lions, 5-0 to split its opening day contests.
How they got here
The Lions locked up the No. 4 seed in the tournament after going 14-7 in conference play during the regular season. Penn State-Harrisburg then swept through day one of the tournament's first round, defeating Southern Virginia in its first game, 13-5 before shutting out the Sea Gulls in the day's final contest, 5-0.
Despite the Sea Gulls picking up a road sweep against Penn State-Harrisburg back at the end of March, it was the Lions who proved victorious in the first matchup of the postseason with the shutout victory. Starting pitcher Travis Van Houton tossed a complete game shutout against the maroon and gold, scattering six hits while striking out seven batters to give his team the 1-0 series advantage.
Salisbury has received clutch contributions from two freshmen in particular this season in right fielder Cameron Hyder and pitcher Xavier Marmol. Hyder has hit .327 for the season primarily in Salisbury's leadoff spot, including combining to go 4 for 7 with two runs and an RBI in both of Friday's contests. Marmol has also established himself as an important cog in Salisbury's rotation as the season grew. He currently leads the team with eight wins and a 2.02 earned run average. The Sea Gulls will likely continue to rely on the two rookies on Saturday as they look to find a way into the next round.
The Sea Gulls and Lions will return to action on Saturday, May 4 and will face off in game four of the opening round. If the Lions win, they will advance to the conference championship to face either No. 2 seed Christopher Newport University or No. 5 seed the University of Mary Washington next weekend. If the Sea Gulls win game four, they will force a game five later in the day to determine which team advances.