Fresh off a Capital Athletic Conference championship, the Salisbury University baseball team dominated the Stevenson Mustangs 19-7 on Tuesday afternoon.
The Gulls (25-10) combined for 16 hits, 17 RBIs and three homeruns in the blowout, while shutting out the Mustangs (17-20) in six innings.
“Offensively we’ve been swinging the entire year, we had some guys step up today that haven’t been swinging it very well, and they really stepped up and drove in some runs today,” Sea Gulls’ head coach Troy Brohawn said.
Both teams started slow failing to find the scoreboard in the first inning, but a three-RBI homerun from Stevenson’s Ian Eberly gave the Mustangs the early advantage in the top of the second.
Despite the slow start, Salisbury got the bats going in the team’s next at bat, with a single from right fielder Brad Keith scoring designated hitter Pete Grasso.
With the bats swinging early, Salisbury’s pitching continued to struggle against Stevenson in the third inning. A homer from shortstop Nick Peifer and a hit from third basemen John D’Aquanno gave the Mustangs a 6-2 lead halfway through the third.
“We have to do better to start off, we can’t put ourselves in a 6-2 hole, we’ve got to be a little more aggressive on the mound,” Brohawn said.
Even with a four-run advantage, Stevenson found out early on it would be near impossible to stop the top scoring team in Division III.
The Sea Gulls tied the game up in the bottom of the third with a three-RBI double from center fielder Tyler Hrycak and an RBI single from catcher Tom LaBriola.
From there on, it was all Salisbury.
Hrycak added another four RBIs with a grand slam midway through the fourth inning. The Gulls as a whole put up seven runs in the inning and held a 13-6 advantage going into the fifth.
“Offensively we’ve scored runs, but it’s been more of the top of the lineup, and today the bottom of the lineup did a little bit better,” Hrycak said. “We try to stay level headed and just keep getting plays.”
Stevenson earned its final run of the day in the top of the fifth with a single from Eberly to drive in center fielder Jake Hall, but with the pitching from Salisbury’s Ryan Daiss and Ryan Gough in the last five innings, the Mustangs struggled to make any contact with the ball.
Salisbury added six more runs to their daily total, including two homeruns from third basemen Jack Barry and first basemen Jake Dmiterchik.
With almost every SU player that went to the plate getting hits, Stevenson’s chances of a comeback quickly evaporated.
“The confidence level is tremendous,” Dmiterchik said. “We’re hitting the ball, pitching has stepped up, and right now we’re just playing some good baseball, and it’s a good feeling.”
The conference championship guarantees the Sea Gulls a spot in the NCAA tournament, but Salisbury still has business to take care of before then.
After a statement win over the Mustangs, the Gulls will turn their attention to Drew University who they play on Thursday. The game is set for 3:30 p.m.
“Our goal is to get to 30 wins. Every win’s going to help us seeding wise, so we’re approaching every game to win,” Brohawn said.