SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

April 11, 2014

Salem State endures Endicott comeback to prevail

SALEM — Salem State University isn’t nationally ranked in Division 3 baseball.

Perhaps the powers that be should take a closer look at the Vikings.

After yesterday’s wild 12-11 win over Endicott, Salem State has now won 10 straight games with victories over the Gulls, Wheaton and Southern Maine — all squads ranked in the top 30.

Yesterday, just like they have all season, the Vikings’ offense led the way. Even after Salem State squandered what had been a seven-run lead, allowing Endicott to tie the game in the top of the ninth, Brett Cahill came through with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and smashed a walk-off line drive single to the outfield, scoring Beverly native Alex Toomey with the winning run.

“All year our offense has been consistent. We’re hitting close to .330 as a team,” said Salem State (17-10) head coach Mike Ward. “We’ve experienced good at-bats in the middle of our lineup and gotten solid contributors everywhere. Offense has been our strength. We’ve never been down to where we can’t fight our way back.”

Cahill is one of the top hitters in the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference; Ward believes he’s one of the top Division 3 hitters in all of New England.

“He’s a winner,” Ward said of Cahill. “He’s delivered in the clutch time and time again for us. In a big spot, there’s nobody I’d rather have.”

First baseman Matt Burgess had the biggest day at the dish, finishing 3-for-5 with four RBI. His best highlight came in the bottom of the fourth when he put one over the fence in center field for a two-run round-tripper as part of a five-run fourth, giving the hosts a 7-0 lead.

However, SSU freshman starter Tim Woods had thrown a lot of pitches by the time the fifth inning rolled around and even though he’d allowed just one earned run on two hits, Ward gave him the hook.

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