Bridgeport, CT – Head Coach Nick Giaquinto notched his 500th career victory Sunday afternoon as the Pioneers defeated the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds, 9-7, at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Sacred Heart wins their first series of the season, winning three out of four games against LIU Brooklyn over the weekend. SHU improves their Northeast Conference record to 5-3 on the season.
Sophomore right-hander James Cooksey (Norwalk, CT) notched his first career win for the Pioneers in relief. Cooksey pitched well for the Pioneers, allowing only two hits in 4.1 innings.
LIU Brooklyn got off to a hot start scoring three runs in the first two innings. Senior Mike Garcia doubled to right field to score Needham and Ziznewski in the first inning.
Junior Pete Leonello doubled to left field to bring home freshman shortstop Evan Emerich in the second inning to give the Blackbirds the early 3-0 lead.
Sacred Heart cut into the Blackbirds lead in the second inning on an LIU Brooklyn error that would bring home freshman infielder Brian Lamboy (Manalapan, NJ). Sacred Heart missed on an opportunity to score more in the second, leaving two men on with only one out.
LIU Brooklyn extended their lead once again in the fourth inning on a base hit by Emerich that scored sophomore catcher Jesse Brown.
In the fourth inning, Senior catcher Rocco Gondek (Glastonbury, CT) stroked a Chance Fuglistahler pitch down the left field line to bring home Lamboy to make the score 4-2 LIU Brooklyn. Lamboy led off the inning with a base hit up the middle. Pinch hitter Dan Perez (Seymour, CT) earned a walk with the bases loaded to pull the Pioneers within one run at 4-3. Senior John Murphy (Seymour, CT) followed Perez with the bases loaded and also notched a walk to tie the game up at four. Senior Dave Boisture (Highland Mills, NY) followed Murphy with a base hit through the left side to take the 6-4 lead, scoring pinch runner Keaton Flint and freshman Jayson Sullivan (Charlton, NY).
LIU Brooklyn fought right back in the fifth inning taking the lead back with a three run inning. Senior Chris Untereiner doubled down the left field line to score John Ziznewski. Freshman Tommy Jakubowski, following Untereiner, hit a blooper to center field that scored Kevin Needham and Untereiner.
The Pioneers went back to work in their half of the fifth, scoring two more to retake the lead. It was Gondek who struck again with a double down the left field line to score Lamboy. Freshman third baseman Jesus Medina (New York, NY) followed Gondek with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring freshman Victor Sorrento (Monroe Township, NJ) to allow the Pioneers to take the lead right back, 8-7.
Lamboy scored his third run of the afternoon in the seventh inning on a double play by the Blackbirds, extending the Pioneers' lead to 9-7.
Sacred Heart is in action next on Tuesday afternoon when they take a short trip to take on the Yale Bulldogs at 3 PM.