(New Rochelle, NY) – MJ Schifano (Monroe, NY) hit for the cycle, including delivering both an RBI tie-breaking triple and a game-breaking grand slam in a ten-run seventh inning of Sacred Heart's 14-6 win at Iona Tuesday afternoon.
After Conor McEvoy (Watertown, CT) led off the seventh with a double off the centerfield fence for his third hit of the game and reached third on a wild pitch, Schifano hit a line drive up the middle that ricocheted off the pitcher towards right centerfield. What was originally scored a single and an error was later reversed to a go-ahead RBI triple, which gave SHU a 3-2 lead. Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA) delivered him with an RBI groundout to give the Pioneers a 4-2 lead with the bases cleared and one out, but they restarted another rally that would send 16 total men to the plate in the team's biggest inning of the year.
Derick Horn (Valatie, NY) followed a hit and two walks with a two-run double to right to make it 6-2. Another walk and run-scoring error gave SHU another run and a bases loaded chance for Schifano, who lined a 2-1 pitch over the right centerfield wall for a grand slam and a five-RBI inning for the SHU third baseman. A double by Tedesco and three straight walks made it a ten-run inning for Sacred Heart.
Schifano lined a double to right field to complete the cycle in the eighth, and would later come around to score on a two-run double by Hunter Phillips (Monroe, CT). Schifano finished 4-5 with three runs and five RBI.
Until SHU's offensive explosion in the seventh, the game was a pitchers' duel thanks to solid starting pitching on both sides. Matt Fitton (Lebanon, CT) yielded just two runs in five innings, scattering seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Sacred Heart turned double plays behind him in both the third and fifth to end Iona threats.
The Gaels touched Fitton for the game's first two runs in the second on an RBI single by Kyle Charron and a double steal that followed, with Nick Rossetti coming in from third on the throw to second attempting to get Charron. However, the Pioneers tied it off Iona starter Stephen Bianchi on back-to-back two-out RBI singles by Tedesco and Phillips in the fifth.
Robbie Maguire (Brooklyn, NY) earned his first collegiate win, entering in the seventh when the game was tied to strand three inherited runners on a strikeout. He went 1.1 perfect innings with three strikeouts.
The Pioneers return to action, beginning a four-game conference series with the Quinnipiac Bobcats Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in Hamden, CT.