St. Mary's City, Md. – Sophomore Matt Holdefer (Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake) stroked a walk-off single to propel the St. Mary's College of Maryland baseball team to a come-from-behind 4-3 (9 inn.) over No. 1 Salisbury University in Capital Athletic Conference action Saturday afternoon. The Sea Gulls split today's doubleheader with a 2-1 victory in the nightcap.
Holdefer came in to pinch hit in the fifth spot for sophomore Zach Nadolny (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air), who had been subbed out with a pinch runner in the bottom of the eighth. Holdefer hit an infield single to shortstop and beat the throw to first, allowing sophomore second baseman Luke Green (Bowie, Md./DeMatha Catholic) to come across home plate for the game-winning run.
Green had led off the ninth inning with a walk, advanced on a bunt single by sophomore leftfielder Brad Dioguardo (Owings Mills, Md./Franklin), and went to third on a fielder's choice to sophomore Jared Eaker (Mechanicsville, Md./Leonardtown).
Junior southpaw Sam Coe (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) notched the win in relief as Coe (3-1) threw 2.0 innings, allowing just one run on one hit with one strikeout and one walk, while Dioguardo and sophomore centerfielder Paul Roemer (Westminster, Md./Westminster) paced the Seahawks at the plate with two hits each.
Salisbury (15-3, 4-1 CAC) claimed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning before the Seahawks (8-14) responded with a run of their own in the third. The Sea Gulls retook the lead in the sixth with another run but St. Mary's evened up at 2-2 with a run in the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
Junior centerfielder Bill Root (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville) returned the lead to Salisbury in the eighth with a lead-off solo shot to leftfield but consecutive ground outs and a strikeout looking kept the Seahawks within one. In its half of the eighth, St. Mary's knotted the game for the third time as senior Stefano Muscatelli (Warwick, R.I./Toll Gate) connected on a two-out single to bring home senior shortstop Corey Napier (Hollywood, Md./St. Mary's Ryken), who drew a lead-off walk. After walking the next batter to load the bases, Salisbury's senior Danny Druzgala (Ellicott City, Md./Mount St. Joseph's) pitched a ground ball to end the Seahawks' rally.
Coe then went to work in Salisbury's half of the ninth, nearly retiring the side in order as he walked one of four batters faced. The loss snapped an eight-game win streak for the Sea Gulls.
In the nightcap, all the scoring happened in the third and fourth innings. Salisbury once again got on the board first with a run in the third before the Seahawks tied it up in their half of the third inning. The Sea Gulls then plated the eventual game-winner in the fourth as junior second baseman Johnny Schiotis (Levittown, Pa./Harry S. Truman) knocked in a two-out double to left center to score junior shortstop Ken O'Neill (Lothian, Md./Southern Senior), who led off the inning with a single.
Sophomore starter Brett Collacchi (Bear, Del./St. Mark's) improved to 4-0 on the season as Collacchi gave up just one run on seven hits in the complete game victory. Root, O'Neill, and senior leftfielder Nick Gentry (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) each had two hits for the Sea Gulls in the win. The triumph is the first for Salisbury in the Hawk's Nest since 2008.
St. Mary's and Salisbury will be back in action tomorrow when the two teams meet at the Hawk's Nest for the final game of the three-game CAC series. The first pitch of the nine-inning single game is slated for 1:00 pm.
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