SALISBURY, Md. – The Stevenson baseball team returned to action just 24-hours after taking down conference foe Hood 12-6 in Frederick. As to they traveled the Maryland shore on Tuesday afternoon for a non-conference tilt with Salisbury University. Unfortunately, for the Green and White, their in-state rival got the better of them winning by a final of 13-5 at Sea Gull Baseball Stadium.
Stevenson (12-11) sophomore Alex Kidwiler went 2-4 with a double, three RBIs, and two runs scored. Seniors Michael Rhodes, Billy Small, and sophomore Brady Kessler each added a hit and combined one run scored.
After a scoreless top of the first thrown by Salisbury (15-7) starter Wes Whitlock, the Sea Gulls went to work against Mustangs junior starter Jonathan Lugo. A leadoff free pass to Justin Meekins who later stole second with Brad Keith hitting. With one away and men at the corners, Keith took off for second and on the throw down the man from third hustled home for the early 1-0 lead. Jack Decker was the man at the dish during that play and delivered himself with an RBI single up-the-box to plate Keith. Then with the bases full and two gone Colby Dean was put away swinging at strike three for the final out. Whitlock retired the side in order in the away half of the second which sent the home team back to work. To open the frame Matt Padeway and Meekins hit back-to-back home runs to quickly push the advantage out to 4-0. Keith followed those up with a double deep down the left-field line and Jack Barry was hit by a pitch setting up two on and none gone for Decker. He sent one through the left side to knock home one. Jay Perry and Will Gutekunst both added RBIs with a single to right and a sacrifice bunt. Dean flew out to Murray to end the rally at 7-0.
The Mustangs went one-two-three in the top of the third before Salisbury got a sacrifice fly in their half from Barry to add another one against freshman reliever Chris Osborn. Stevenson got on the board finally in the fourth against Whitlock. Kessler reached on a single, senior John D'Aquanno was plunked by an offering from Whitlock and junior Matthew Kerber drew a walk to fill the bags with no one out. That sent Kidwiler to the batter's box and he delivered with a bases-clearing double down the left-field line trimming it to 8-3. A wild pitch moved the runner to third and a walk to junior Jordan Moore put Mustangs at the corners with one gone. After freshman Nate Perkins went down looking freshman Connor Wasilnak came to the plate. During his at-bat Moore stole second and, on the throw, Kidwiler raced home cutting the margin to 8-4. Wasilnak then reached safely on a fielding error on the shortstop spelling the end of the afternoon for Whitlock. Reliever Jimmy Adkins issued a walk to the first batter he faced Murray but got Kessler to fly out to center field for out number three.
Stevenson was able to manage a one-out single from Small in their part of the fifth. However, he would be erased when Adkins induced a double play groundball out of Kerber which retired the side. Freshman Michael Smell made his way into the game out of the bullpen in the bottom of the inning and the let first two hitters reach with a walk and a single from Barry through the left side to put two on with no outs. With two away Perry smacked a two-bagger into deep left-field allowing Keith to score easily from third. Gutekunst lined out to right to limit the damage to one. The Mustangs attempted to stay within striking distance in the top half of inning number six. Kidwiler reached safely on a fielding miscue by the Sea Gulls left fielder. With the runner at second he advanced to third on a balk by Adkins and later came into score on a wild pitch. Adkins then settled down to get Wasilnak swinging to keep the score at 9-5. The home side got a run in the last of the frame when Meekins crossed the plate when Keith was caught stealing. Salisbury then added two more in the seventh and a solo in the eight to take a 13-5 advantage. In the ninth, the visitors had the bases loaded with two down looking to start a comeback, but Small grounded out to second to end the game.
Stevenson starter Lugo (0-1) took the loss going two innings giving up seven hits, seven runs (six earned) and struck out two.
The Mustangs will now have a few days off before they begin a three-game weekend conference series on Friday, April, 6 versus Lebanon Valley College at Sugar Field. First pitch of game one against the Dutchmen is set for 3:30pm.