March 19, 2011

Pioneers Swept in Doubleheader Heartbreakers to Monmouth

(West Long Branch, NJ) – Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA) tied game two of a doubleheader with a two-out RBI single in the Pioneers' last at bat, but the Monmouth Hawks beat Sacred Heart in twelve innings 4-3 to sweep the day.

Mike Korevec (Greenwich, CT) took the tough-luck loss despite pitching 5.1 innings and allowing only one run.  That run, however, came on Anthony Lawrence's game winning walk-off single in the bottom of the twelfth.  Korevec allowed just four hits and struck out six in relief of Nick Leiningen (Millwod, NY), who pitched 5.2 innings and three earned runs on eight hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

Tedesco tied the game with a line-drive single to left off reliever Andrew McGee, scoring pinch runner Matt Fitton (Lebanon, CT) who ran for Tyler Curry (South Salem, NY) after his leadoff single.  Despite blowing the save, McGee earned the win with six innings of relief after yielding the tying run.  He pitched out of a major jam in the ninth, when the Pioneers loaded the bases with no outs.  However, Hunter Phillips (Monroe, CT) smashed a short-hopper to the mound that McGee fielded to turn into a rally-killing 1-2-3 double play before getting the inning-ending groundout with the go-ahead runs in scoring position.

Monmouth took a 3-2 lead in the sixth on a two-out single by Cal Costanzo, who finished the game 3-5 with two RBI.  That put the Hawks back on top of the back-and-forth game after Phillips gave SHU a 2-1 lead with a perfect safety squeeze up the first base side a half inning earlier.  The Pioneers tied the game in the fifth on a two-out RBI single to center by MJ Schifano (Monroe, CT).  The Hawks had scored the only run of the game to that point when Ryan Terry was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the second.

In game one, Rob Griffith (Lake Ronkonkoma, NY) hit a game-tying two-run homerun in the sixth inning to knot the game at two, wrapping a line drive barely inside the left-field foul poll.  However, Monmouth retook the lead in their half of the sixth on a controversial call at first.  With the go-ahead run at third and two outs, pinch hitter Chris Perrett hit a slow grounder to third, which Schifano scurried to field and throw on the run.  It was ruled the throw pulled Griffith off the bag, allowing the eventual game-winning run to score.  The Hawks tacked on two more on an RBI double by Josh Boyd and another run-scoring error. 

Kody Kerski (Waterbury, CT) pitched well in his start, allowing just two earned runs with no walks and three strikeouts over 5.2 innings. 

Tedesco collected hits in both games, and is now riding an 11-game hitting streak.

The Pioneers seek to salvage the finale of the four-game series with Monmouth, sending Schifano to the mound for a 1:00 p.m. start.