(Norwich, CT) – Troy Scribner (Washington Depot, CT) pitched a dominant complete game and Derick Horn went 4-4 with four RBI in his collegiate post-season debut, as the #2 Sacred Heart Pioneers rolled to a 10-1 win over the #3 Long Island University Blackbirds in their first game of the Northeast Conference Baseball Tournament Friday afternoon at Dodd Stadium.
Scribner and LIU starter Chris Franzese engaged in a pitcher's duel for the first five-innings, with Steve Tedesco providing the game's first run on a two-out RBI single to right-center in the fourth to account for the only offense to that point.
However, the Pioneers exploded for nine runs over the last three innings. They scored twice in the sixth without a hit on an RBI fielder's choices by Dan Perez (Seymour, CT) and a sacrifice fly by Horn to take a 3-0 lead. In the seventh, John Murphy (Seymour, CT) broke the game open with a two-run homerun to right field with two outs. That began a string of five consecutive hits for SHU, with two more runs scoring on a single to centerfield by Horn. The Pioneers tacked on three more in the eighth on RBI singles by Murphy, Phillips, and Horn. Murphy finished 2-5 with three runs and three RBI.
Scribner won his conference-best ninth game of the season and seventh straight start, going the distance for the fourth time this season in scattering six hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
With the win, the Pioneers advanced to the winner's bracket Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. against #1 Monmouth and also set a program record with their 32nd victory of the season (breaking last season's mark of 31). Sacred Heart also won its ninth consecutive NEC game.
The double-elimination tournament will feature LIU against CCSU, who also lost Friday, beginning at 12:00 p.m. Saturday before the Pioneers take on the Monmouth Hawks. The Pioneers will be the home team by virtue of a coin flip.