Bridgeport, CT – The Sacred Heart Pioneers lost a non-conference tilt with the Iona Gaels Wednesday afternoon by a score of 6-3 at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Iona sophomore Mariano Rivera pitched well in relief, only allowing one unearned run in five innings of work to lock down the Pioneers and earn the win.
Sacred Heart (5-11) freshman right-hander Connor Landers (Durham, CT) earned the loss in his first career start as a Pioneer. Landers gave up four runs on 6 hits in 5.2 innings.
Juniors Joe Torres and Joe Smith wasted no time in creating Iona's first run in the top of the first inning, notching back-to-back singles with Torres able to come all the way around from first on a Pioneer error.
Sacred Heart battled right back in the bottom of the first, tying the game up at one all on a Matt Charmello (Rossmoor, CA) base hit that scored John Murphy (Seymour, CT) from second base. Murphy walked to start the rally and then stole second to get into scoring position.
Smith and Torres would strike again in the third inning for the Gaels, this time Torres scoring on a Smith double to right center to take the 2-1 lead.
Charmello and Murphy would connect again to tie the game back up at two in the fourth inning. A sacrifice fly by Charmello would score Murphy, who led off the inning with a laser to right center to earn his third triple of the season.
Landers would run into more trouble in the sixth, giving up a two out double to Bobby Vitulano, scoring Jimmy Guiliano and Christian Choman. Vitulano would be Landers' last batter as freshman Mike Lembo (North Haledon, NJ) would come on in relief.
SHU would again run into some two out trouble in the seventh inning. After a Pioneer error would extend the inning, Torres struck again with a homerun over the left field that was original ruled just a single but upon further discussion was turned into Torres' second career out of the parker.
Sophomore center fielder Keaton Flint (Charlton, NY) would score the Pioneers' last run of the afternoon in the seventh inning. After reaching on a fielder's choice, Flint would come all the way around on a couple Iona errors.
Sacred Heart is back in action this weekend as the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds come to town for a four game series starting tomorrow afternoon at 3 PM.