“He was up over 100 pitches. He’s only thrown seven innings this year and hasn’t started a game since (SSU’s trip to) Florida,” explained Ward. “He did a great job, pounded the strike zone and mixed in his offspeed stuff. But it was time for him to go ... and we trust our bullpen.”
Salem State used five more pitchers before the end of the game and Endicott scored at least one run each inning thereafter. After all, the Gulls are ranked for a reason and guys like EJ Martinez (3-for-3, 5 RBI) and Harry Oringer (2-for-4, 2 runs, RBI) showed why.
Martinez showed some power in the eighth when he smashed a two-run homer deep over the right field fence and then with two outs in the ninth, he pulled a RBI single to right field to tie the game. Oringer, who had walked to start the four-run rally in the ninth, spoke about how the Gulls were able to battle back after such a lackluster start.
“We tried to focus on having good at bats and then we were able to string a few together,” said Oringer. “We never let up. We were down 7-0 and were able to come back ... and that shows we’re able to come back from adversity.”
Pete Gonski got the win for the Vikings after getting the final out in the top of the ninth. Eric Nagle started for the Gulls, pitching three innings before being relieved. Both bullpens struggled as a total of 15 pitchers were used between both teams.
Salem State had six more total hits and made two fewer errors in the field. Catcher Mike Lamothe of Beverly caught an excellent game, threw out a guy stealing second and was able to keep a very speedy Gulls team from chewing up the basepath. For good measure, he added a pair of RBI offensively.