MILLTOWN — Saint Mark’s batted around in the third inning, building up a 7-0 lead, then withstood a Salesianum rally as the defeated the Sals, 7-5, on May 5. It was the second time this season the Spartans took a big lead against their rival, then battled for the victory.
The Spartans scored single runs in the first and second — with Jaden Todd providing the first run on a home run over the left-field fence — before sending nine men to the plate in the third, when they added five runs.
They got those five on just two hits. Saint Mark’s loaded the bases with one out on a hit by pitch, fielder’s choice and walk. Tyler Satterfield knocked in a run when he was walked, and the Sals brought in Brody Valentine to relieve starting pitcher Aidan O’Brien. Ryan Farina greeted Valentine with a single to right, scoring two runs.
He and Satterfield advanced on a wild pitch, and after a strikeout, Max O’Neal walked to re-load the bases. An error on a ground ball allowed Satterfield to score, and Todd, the next hitter, dropped a flare in right field near the foul line, bringing Farina and O’Neal home. Quinn tried to score when the throw home went to the backstop, but he was thrown out at the plate.
Spartans starter Christian Colmery cruised through four innings, allowing just one hit and a grand total of four base runners, but the Sals figured him out in the fifth. John Dunion opened with a double to right-center, and Ryan James singled. Ben Venema hit into a fielder’s choice, but an error resulted in no outs on the play and the bases full. Quinn Bartkowski walked to bring home Salesianum’s first run, and Brian Lang hit a long single to left to drive in another. The next four batters went strikeout, walk, strikeout, walk to score two more. Dunion came up with the bases loaded and was hit by a pitch, but he was called out for leaning over the plate into the pitch.
The Spartans had runners reach in each of their last three at bats, but they could not add to their lead. The Sals got two men on in the sixth with one out, but they could not score. In the seventh, against relief pitcher Quinn, Campbell got on as a result of an error, moved to second on a groundout, and scored on Dunion’s two-out single. A popup ended the game.
Colmery allowed four hits in six innings, striking out five. Quinn and Reid Dalton both reached base three times, and Farina had two hits, two runs scored and an RBI. The Spartans (14-2) visit Mount Pleasant on Saturday at 11 a.m.
O’Brien and Valentine combined for six strikeouts for the Sals. Offensively, Dunion was on three times with two hits, a run scored and one knocked in. The Sals (8-5) travel to Lewes on Saturday for a noon meeting at Cape Henlopen.
All photos by Mike Lang.