BY JAMIR WILSON
The Salisbury University baseball team defeated Wesley College 11-3 in the first round of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament Tuesday afternoon.
“We just made plays today out in the field, we held runners pretty well. We came out and scored early and got on them,” starting pitcher Pete Grasso said.
Scoring early is exactly what Salisbury did in the contest.
Senior Kyle Goodwin started his four-hit outing with a single in the lead off spot. The strong batting in the first led to a two-run first inning, followed with a four-run second inning.
“We’ve played them twice and they’ve put up ten runs both times, so we knew they could swing the bat it was just a matter of just executing pitches and playing defense and I think we did a good job with that,” Sea Gulls head coach Troy Brohawn said when asked the importance of starting off strong against Wesley.
Salisbury enjoyed successful hitting from a multitude of batters against Wesley with five Sea Gulls recording two hits or more.
Third baseman Jack Barry took care of business from the plate getting three hits out of his four at-bats, while second baseman Alex Lipman had two hits while scoring three runs.
The team has struggled throughout the year with pitching, but saw promise with a solid start by Grasso. The junior struck out seven batters and collected his fifth win of the season. Grasso admitted the run support he received from his teammates helped him settle into the game.
“It’s big time (the run support). You have to go out there and pitch to contact and let your defense do the work once you get the lead,” Grasso said.
Pitching will be a determining factor for the success of the Sea Gulls going forward, and with a solid start by Grasso and a strong finish by the team’s bullpen it can be a sign of good things to come.
“We have not pitched consistent all year long, hopefully this is a great start to the tournament, we have the talent to do it,” Brohawn said. “The experience we lost last year with all those seniors (graduating,) hopefully these young guys and transfers will come in here and be ready to perform.”
Salisbury will now set its focus on Marymount playing them on Thursday in the second round of the tournament. With the momentum that comes from Tuesday’s victory, it will be a tough task for any team in the CAC to take down the Gulls.
“We have to carry that confidence to the next game. We’ve been telling each other it doesn’t matter if you went 0-5 today or 5-5, when we play on Thursday it’s all wiped clean we have to start over and make a run at this,” Goodwin said.