WILMINGTON — Salesianum’s first five batters reached base, and all scored, as the Sals opened the 2021 baseball season with a 10-0 victory over St. Elizabeth on March 27. It was the season opener for the Sals, whose first scheduled game was rained out.
Leadoff hitter Brian Lang got the offense started with a double to deep left field, the start of a big day for the senior outfielder. He moved to third base on an error and scored on a wild pitch. The throw to Vikings pitcher Jaden Dickerson, who was covering the plate, was high, and Max Dugan, running for Brody Valentine, rounded third. The back to home was juggled, and the Sals’ lead grew to 2-0.
The Sals would get additional runs on a single by Ryan Rzucidlo, a triple by Ben Venema, and a groundout by Conor Campbell.
The home team opened their half of the third with a hit batsman and two walks, loading the bases with no one out. Campbell lined a single to center to score Rzucidlo, and, after two strikeouts, two more Salesianum runners came home on walks.
Sallies ended the game with single runs in the sixth and seventh. Lang singled with two outs in the sixth, stole second and took third on a single by Valentine. When Valentine took off for second and the Vikings made a play at that base, Lang stole home. Rzucidlo began the seventh with a single, went to second on a walk and scored the game-ending run when Zachary Czarnecki doubled to left-center field.
The offensive output was matched by the Sals’ pitching. Valentine went four innings. He allowed just two hits and a walk. He struck out just three, but he kept the St. Elizabeth batted balls on the ground, coaxing six groundouts, including one that resulted in a double play. Rzucidlo tossed the final two innings, He worked out of a bit of a jam in the sixth as the first three Vikings reached base, but James Garrett was tagged out between third and home following a lengthy rundown. He retired the final two batters on ground balls.
Five Sals reached base three times. Lang and Rzucidlo each had two hits, while the other three — Valentine, Venema and Czarnecki — all had one hit. Rzucidlo scored three runs, with Lang and Venema crossing the plate twice apiece. The Sals (1-0) will host St. Georges on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Dickerson had two of St. Elizabeth’s four hits, and he struck out four batters. Matthew Trout also had four strikeouts in two innings of work. The Vikings (1-2) visit Wilmington Charter at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday.
All photos by Mike Lang.