The ninth-ranked Salisbury University baseball team was victorious in its Sunday afternoon contest against the State University of New York at Oswego with a final score of 6-1.
As calendars flipped from February to March, the Sea Gulls looked to turn a page of their own on Sunday. Salisbury faced a tough road loss to Virginia Wesleyan University last Wednesday, a game in which the team managed just one run on three hits.
For the first few innings, it looked as though Wednesday’s offensive drought against Virginia Wesleyan followed the Sea Gulls back to Salisbury.
This changed in the bottom of the fourth inning when senior first baseman Jimmy Monaghan delivered a solo shot to right field, giving Salisbury the 1-0 advantage.
The Lakers evened things up in the top of the fifth with an RBI single, courtesy of Lukas Olsson.
In the bottom half, senior third baseman Brandon Bonesteel responded for the Gulls with a solo homer of his own, his second on the season.
The Sea Gulls cushioned their lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Monaghan knocked in a two-RBI single that scored senior outfielder Justin Meekins and sophomore infielder Stephen Rice after the two started off the inning with base hits of their own.
Right-handed pitcher Braden Stinar delivered on the mound for the Sea Gulls. Stinar worked his way through seven innings of work, only surrendering one run in the process with a couple of strikeouts.
The senior transfer was at his best in pressure situations as he had to escape multiple jams with runners in scoring position.
Salisbury skipper Troy Brohawn was pleased with the job Stinar did on the bump for the Gulls.
“Stinar battled for us out there,” Brohawn said. “I liked his presence on the mound and the way he set the tone for us on the bump. I thought he really gave us a strong outing.”
Senior right-hander Clayton Dwyer was efficient in relief for Salisbury. Dwyer replaced Stinar in the top of the eighth and tossed a couple of scoreless innings to seal the deal.
Meekins, Monaghan, Rice and junior outfielder Christian Murphy all joined in on the offensive parade for the Gulls with two hits apiece. Monaghan’s team-high three RBIs were crucial in the win.
Brohawn thinks the team’s offensive breakthrough was a result of its mindset.
“I told our guys that when we come out here with this type of energy, good things will happen, and we’re going be really tough to beat,” Brohawn said. “At Virginia Wesleyan, it was pretty disappointing — our performance was lackluster, and we knew we could be better. Today we came out and showed it, and I thought our guys did a great job.”
Brohawn also mentioned that despite the talent that Salisbury has, the team can struggle when it loses focus.
“When we come out here and don’t pay attention to who or where we’re playing and just play our brand of baseball, that is when we’re at our best.”
After a tumultuous week in its entirety, the Gulls stand with a 5-2 record.
Salisbury starts a brief road trip, where it will face Washington College before returning home on Sunday. The first pitch against Washington College is set for 2 p.m.
By THOMAS WEST
Featured photo: Brad Boardman image.