BY DAVID CABRERA
With a doubleheader split against Cortland State on Feb. 24, the sixth ranked Salisbury University baseball team was looking for a doubleheader sweep Saturday afternoon against New Paltz State.
With a 5-0 victory in the first game and a close 4-3 win in the second game, the Sea Gulls (6-1) did just that.
The first game against the Hawks (1-4) was marred with early missed opportunities for the Gulls’ offense.
Four base runners were left on base through the first two innings.
With the offense’s early struggles, senior starting pitcher Andrew Levy and the Gulls defense limited the Hawks to just three hits through three innings, with Levy getting one of his two strikeouts of the game in the second inning.
As the bottom of the third began, the Gulls started their offensive surge.
Senior left fielder Nick Gentry and junior first baseman Quinn Griffith hit back to back singles to start off the inning.
After a bunt attempt by senior designated hitter Evan Graci to move Gentry and Griffith to second and third, junior shortstop Ken O’Neill drove both of them home on a two RBI single, giving the Gulls an early 2-0 advantage.
After three scoreless innings, the bottom of the sixth was started by a single to left by sophomore right fielder Kyle Hayman and a bunt by junior second baseman Johnny Schiotis.
A passed ball by New Paltz State on the next at-bat scored Hayman to make it 3-0. Schiotis made it 4-0 when he was brought in by sophomore third baseman Bobby Sanzone on an RBI fly to left.
Two batters later, after Gentry got on base with a single, Griffith finished off the scoring by singling to the right to score Gentry, making it 5-0.
Sophomore pitcher Kyle Hamby came in for Levy to finish off the Hawks in the seventh inning.
The second game, unlike the first, started off fast for Salisbury.
In the bottom of the first, Griffith hit a double to right, scoring on a fielding error to make it 1-0 Sea Gulls.
Griffith went 5-6 at the plate in the two games, scoring three runs.
After a scoreless second inning, New Paltz St. scored two runs off of sophomore starting pitcher Brett Collacchi in the third, forcing the Gulls to turn to sophomore pitcher Dan Fein.
The Hawks, however, tallied one more run in the inning to make it 3-1.
After the third inning Fein shut down the Hawks the rest of the way, going 4 2/3 innings and striking out three batters.
Down 3-1, the Gulls’ offense needed a spark.
With Griffith, Sanzone, and Graci on base in the bottom of the third, O’Neill hit a single to right scoring both Griffith and Sanzone to tie the score at 3.
After setting down the Hawks in order in the top of the fourth, Kyle Hayman and the Gulls offense went to work in the bottom of the inning.
After he got on base with a walk, Hayman stole second and then reached third on a passed ball.
Sanzone then singled up the middle to bring Hayman home, providing the winning run.
The Sea Gulls next series at home is a doubleheader this Sunday against Gallaudet University.