YORK, PA – The Salisbury Sea Gull baseball team posted a come-from-behind victory over York College in the winners bracket of the 2014 Capital Athletic Conference tournament on Saturday morning in York.
The win puts Salisbury in the drivers seat for the tournament championship as they must win just one of two games on Sunday to earn the conference title. York must now head back out on to the field in Saturday's third game to try to advance to their second straight CAC Championship Sunday.
The Spartans started off great early as they struck for a single run in the bottom of the first on a Colbe Herr (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) RBI ground out.
The Green and White tacked on a pair in the second but it could have been more. The Spartans had runners at second and third with one out when J.J. Oleniacz (Great Falls, Va./Langley) reached on a throwing error. Colin Porter (Hanover, Pa./South Western) and Logan Countryman (Baltimore, Md./Loch Raven) came around to score and Oleniacz made it all the way around to third. Andrew Hershey (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor) was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corner but Salisbury starter Connor Shockly rolled a double play to minimize the damage.
The Sea Gulls got to Spartan starter David Walker (Hanover, Pa./South Western) in the third with a pair of runs but York quickly responded with a big four-run inning. The inning was aided by a pair of Salisbury errors as the Spartans took a 7-2 lead to the fourth.
That's when Salisbury started to cut into the Spartan lead, bit by bit. Salisbury got two runs in the fourth after Walker had retired the first two hitters in the inning. Back-to-back doubles from Ken O'Neill and Bill Root followed by a triple down the right field line from Kyle Hayman drew Salisbury to within three at 7-4.
After York failed to score in the fourth, the Gulls added a run on a Jordan Gowe RBI ground out in the top of the fifth. The Spartans responded with their last run of the game. Stephen Miele (Allentown, Pa./Salisbury) singled to lead off the bottom of the fifth. He stole second, moved to third on a ground ball and scored on a two-out bloop single from Scott Steffy (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East).
Salisbury chased Walker in the top of the sixth with another Spartan error greasing the skids for the Sea Gulls. The inning was capped by Quinn Griffith as he blasted a two run shot down the left field line, tying the game at eight.
York had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the eighth as Steffy led off the frame with a walk. He was sacrificed to second and moved to third with a ground out. Sea Gull reliever Jon Schmedel got a pop out to short to end the York threat.
Salisbury didn't waste their opportunity in the top of the ninth. With one out, Austin Barefoot reached on a two-base error. O'Neill followed with double to right that cleared Miele's head and allowed Barefoot to score the go-ahead run. After a fly out to center, Hayman banged out his fourth hit of the day to provide the Gulls with an insurance run.
Herr started the bottom of the ninth with a ringing double down the left field line but Salisbury closer Kyle Hamby got a punch out of Derek Pitzer (York, Pa./Dallastown) for the first out of the inning. Miele then singled to center to put Spartans at the corners but Hamby got a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Schmedel earned the win in relief as he tossed two hitless innings. He allowed one walk as he improved to 1-1. Hamby earned his eighth save of the year despite allowing a pair of hits in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Patrick Pitman (Chester Springs, Pa./Downingtown East) suffered the hard luck loss as he allowed a pair of unearned runs in his two innings of work. Pitman allowed three hits as he falls to 0-2. Walker tossed 5.1 innings, allowing six runs, five earned, on 10 hits with a walk.
Hayman had a big day as he was 4-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored. Hayman also made a spectacular play in the bottom of the first inning as he robbed Miele of extra bases. Griffith finished the game with three hits, three RBI and two runs scored including his first home run of the year. Root added three hits, three runs scored and an RBI. O'Neill and Johnny Schiotis each contributed two hits to the Sea Gull offensive effort.
Herr banged out four hits with an RBI and a run scored. Pitzer, Miele, and Porter each added two hits to the 13-hit Spartan attack. Steffy contributed two RBI while Oleniacz also had a pair of RBI.
The Spartans return to action at 4:00 pm on Saturday afternoon as they will play an elimination game against either Christopher Newport or Wesley.