Marian baseball splits with Salem State heading into off day

Marian celebrates the win

TUCSON, Ariz. - For the 2nd straight night the Marian University (2-3) baseball team split a twin bill at the Tucson Invitational in Tucson, Arizona.  Salem State (MA) rode junior pitcher Stephen Keskinidis to a 7-0 win in the opener.  Keskinidis (1-0) stuck out eight and gave up just one hit to earn the complete game shutout.  Marian freshman Ricky Lee broke up the no hit bid with a single to center on a two-out, 2-strike pitch in the bottom of the seventh and final inning. 

The Vikings scored four times on starter Zack Sandoval (0-1) in the 2nd and one more time in the 4th before he left the game in the 5th with cramps.  Junior Ty Peccioli pitched the final three innings, giving up a pair of runs in the 7th.

The Sabres used timely hitting and some clutch defense in the nightcap to deal Salem State (4-1) their first loss of the season 5-4.

The teams traded single runs in the 3rd inning, then Salem State touched starter Brandon Knoke for a pair of runs in the bottom of the 4th to take a 3-1 lead.

Marian answered the bell in the top of the 5th, when sophomore Jake Arens singled home Jordan Walker and Nick Bastien to tie the game at 3.

The Sabres added two more runs in the top of the 6th on an RBI double by Walker and a run scoring single by Bastien.

Salem State tried to rally in the bottom of the 7th as Kyle O'Conner led off the final frame with a double off of reliever Tim Dziergas .  Alex Toomey then blasted a shot over right fielder Anthony Sottile's head, scoring O'Conner.  Sottile picked up the ball on the warning track and fired rocket to junior Jake Falish who gunned down Toomey at third to end the serious threat.  Dziergas retired the final two batters to secure his second save in as many nights.

Brandon Knoke (1-0) gave up just 3 runs on 5 hits, struck out five and walked just one to earn his first victory of the season.  Andrew McLaughlin (0-1) took the loss for Salem State.

Senior Jordan Walker was 3x4 with a pair of doubles, 3 runs scored and 1 RBI out of the leadoff spot to pace the Sabre offense.

Marian will take Sunday off and then jump back into Tucson Invitational action on Monday morning when they meet Cornell College at 11 a.m. (CDT).