(New Britain, CT) – The Sacred Heart Pioneers forced extra innings in the ninth and won the game with a two-run eleventh inning for a 4-3 win over the CCSU Blue Devils to complete a four-game sweep Sunday afternoon.
Down 2-1 in the ninth, JJ Edwards (Endwell, NY), Rob Griffith (Lake Ronkonkoma, NY), and John Murphy all reached to start the inning on singles. Dan Perez (Seymour, CT) hit into a 4-6-3 double play, but the Pioneers tied the game on the play.
Hunter Phillips (Monroe, CT), who entered the game as a pinch runner in the ninth, singled to right-center leading off the eleventh. On a 1-0 pitch, Murphy lined a shot inside the right-field foul line on a hit-and-run, bringing Phillips all the way home on a go-ahead RBI double to the wall. Perez then drove Murphy in with base hit to center with what proved to be the winning run.
CCSU loaded the bases in the bottom of the eleventh on a two-out infield hit by Pat Epps. However, after Liam Rafferty hit JP Sportman with a pitch to force in a run, he then got Sean Miller-Jones to fly out to right for his second save.
Rafferty saved the win for John Hermanson (Milford, CT), who improved to 5-1 on the season with five stellar innings of relief. He was charged with only one run and gave up two hits, striking out one and walking four before being relieved by Rafferty with two outs in the eleventh. Matt Fitton (Lebanon, CT) started for SHU, pitching 5.2 innings and giving up one earned run on three hits with three strikeouts.
The Pioneers improved to 19-9 in NEC play, moving into second place in the standings by a half-game over Long Island University. SHU hosts Manhattan in a none-league game Tuesday at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard, beginning at 5:00 p.m., before closing out their regular season with four conference games against Wagner at home beginning on Thursday.