YORK, PA-Salisbury lefty Bryan Brainer
twirled a complete game shutout as the Sea Gulls upset the
top-seeded York College Spartans, 6-0, in the quarterfinals of the
2007 Capital Athletic Conference tournament on Saturday morning in
York. The Sea Gulls now advance to Sunday’s championship
round where they must be beaten twice to prevent them from
capturing their second straight CAC championship and their seventh
overall. Salisbury, who is ranked ninth in the nation, improves to
25-7 overall while the Spartans fall to 24-7 for the year.
Brainer was the story of the game all day long. He began the first inning by striking out the side. Salisbury got an unearned run in the bottom of the first, as they were the home team in the game. The Sea Gulls increased the lead to 2-0 thanks to an Alex Vitale home run to left in the fourth.
In the fifth, the Spartans received a one-out double down the left field line from Anthony Anzalone (Rocky Point, NY/Rocky Point). With Jeff Young (Wilmington, DE/Brandywine), the Spartans’ best hitter, at the plate, Anzalone was thrown out at third attempting to get to the bag after a Brainer pitch in the dirt. That sabotaged the Spartan inning and they didn’t get a runner to second the rest of the game.
The Sea Gulls blew the game open in the seventh. The inning opened with a booming double to center from Mark Bostwick. After a walk and a strikeout, Hunter Wessells drilled an opposite field double to plate a pair of runs, increasing the Salisbury lead to 3-0. Colin Kraus then singled up the middle to plate a pair as the lead grew to 5-0. Mike Celenza drove in the final run with a fielder’s choice.
The Spartans got a single from Ryan Craig (Rocky Point, NY/Rocky Point) in the eighth but he would be stranded as Brainer retired the final four Spartans he faced in the game.
Brainer improved to 7-3 with the win. He scattered five hits as he struck out 12 and walked four. He threw 138 pitches in the win, 89 of which were strikes.
Spartan starter Tim Frisch (New Freedom, PA/Susquehannock) pitched well early as he suffered the loss. He allowed six runs, four earned, on 11 hits in his 6.1 innings of work. Frisch struck out four and walked one as he falls to 4-2 for the campaign.
Justin Armiger led the Salisbury offense with three hits. Wessells was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Bostwick was the third Sea Gulls to have multiple hits as he was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Vitale was 1-for-4 with his fifth home run of the year.
Anzalone had the Spartans’ lone extra base hit with his fifth inning double. Craig, Ryan Poff (York, PA/Spring Grove), Mike Santoro (Manalapan, NJ/Manalapan), and Evan Vonatski (Eastport, NY/Eastport-South Manor Central) added singles to form the Spartan offense.
The Spartans now must win three straight games if they hope to capture their first CAC title since 1999, their longest drought under the guidance of head coach Paul Saikia. York plays the winner of the 12:30 pm game featuring Mary Washington and St. Mary’s at 4:00 pm. That 4:00 pm game winner advances to face Salisbury in the championship round on Sunday.