WILMINGTON – Two of the best baseball teams in Delaware were neck-and-neck for four innings on May 16, but Salesianum was able to pull away from Sussex Tech with five runs in the fifth inning for a 7-2 victory. It was the Sals’ ninth straight win.
The top of the Sallies’ lineup played a big role, as it has all season. Dom Ragazzo, the team’s leadoff hitter, and Dylan Rees opened the fifth with back-to-back singles. They came home when Jacob Dunion stroked a double. Dunion has been perhaps the Sals’ most consistent hitter all season, and he continued with that on Thursday. Later in the fifth, designated hitter Matt Querey singled in two more runs, giving the team some breathing room.
The scoring in the bottom of the fifth was in stark contrast to the rest of the afternoon, which featured a total of four runs, all scored in the first inning and a half. The Ravens, who entered the game with a record of 13-3, wasted no time getting on the board. Matt Warrington sent a one-out single to short right field. After a strikeout, he scored on a Sals throwing error.
The Sals answered in their half. Ragazzo started the inning with a 40-foot single between Ravens pitcher Grant Allen and third baseman Conor Ellingsworth. Rees laid down a sacrifice bunt and was safe at first. Ragazzo kept going around second when he noticed no one was covering third base, and he scored on an errant throw. Rees ended up at third, and he scored when Dunion singled to center.
Sussex Tech tied the game in their half of the second. Jalen Snead led off with a single off Salesianum starter Alex Hinton and stole second. A strikeout and a groundout later, Snead was at third. He came home on an infield single off the bat of Warrington. That would be it for the scoring until the Sals’ big inning.
Tech added two runs off Hinton in the seventh, but Joe Sheets came in to put out the fire.
It was the final game of the regular season for the Sals, who finished 16-2. They await their state tournament seeding, which will be announced on Monday night. Sallies should receive a first-round bye in the 24-team field.
Sussex Tech, which opened the season 12-1, has now dropped three of its last four games. The Ravens return to Wilmington on Saturday to close out the regular season, meeting Caesar Rodney at 3 p.m. at Frawley Stadium. The Ravens will then wait for their tournament placement.