Marlins Fall to No. 24 Salisbury, 4-3
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.- The Virginia Wesleyan College baseball team came out strong defensively and offensively in the first four innings of the game but No. 24 Salisbury University rallied late to down the Marlins 4-3 on Sunday afternoon.
The first inning of the game was controlled by the Marlins as Justin Erby led off the inning with a walk and a steal of second. Taylor Erby followed with a hit by pitch, moving to second on a baserunning miscue that costs VWC a runner and the potential for a huge inning. Randy Neisz connected for his second home run in as many days, driving in Erby, as the Marlins took a 2-0 lead.
Justin Erby reached first on a single through the left side in the third before a Brandon Kussmaul walk allowed Erby to advance to second. Taylor Erby singled through the left side to score his brother for a 3-0 edge.
Despite a strong effort by freshman pitcher, Patrick Monteverde, the Sea Gulls scored two runs in the fourth and another in the seventh to tie the game at three.
Salisbury put a runner on first via error with one out, before a single up the middle moved him to second and turning the lineup over. Monteverde struck out the Sea Gull leadoff batter, bringing the Marlins one out from escaping the jam. Kyle Canavan singled to left field on the first pitch he saw in the at bat, scoring Will Gutekunst for the eventual game-winning run.
A walk and a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the ninth put the potential tying run into scoring position for the Marlins, but Salisbury hurler Brad Keith was able to shut the door.
Keith (1-0) picked up the win for Salisbury, walking one and striking out one in two innings of relief. Scott Ardoin, Pete Grasso, and Canavan had two hits each for the Sea Gulls.
Monteverde (0-1) struck out six while walking one in 8.2 innings of work. He surrendered four runs, two earned, on nine hits across his 116 pitches.
Virginia Wesleyan (0-3) will travel to No. 24 Salisbury (2-0) Tuesday for a rematch at 2:30 p.m.