Pioneers Sweep Sunday Doubleheader; Split Series with Wagner
STATEN ISLAND, NY – After continuing and losing yesterday's rain-shortened game 6-2, the Sacred Heart Pioneers rebounded to sweep a doubleheader from the Wagner Seahawks Sunday afternoon at Richmond County Bank Ballpark. SHU won game one 4-3 and then dropped the Seahawks 3-1 in twelve innings to finish off the sweep. With the wins, SHU splits the four-game set with Wagner and improves to 11-9 in the NEC this season and 24-24 overall.
With Wagner leading 6-1 in top of the seventh inning yesterday afternoon, the game was suspended due to a powerful thunderstorm. The Pioneers and Seahawks continued that game Sunday afternoon with Wagner closing the door on SHU in the seventh and winning 6-2.
Junior right-hander James Cooksey (Norwalk, CT) earned the win in both games of the doubleheader, improving to 4-1 on the season. Coming out of the bullpen in each game, Cooksey did not allow a run in a combined 7.2 innings pitched, including four perfect innings in game two. The Connecticut-native drops his ERA to a miniscule 1.09.
In game one, Sacred Heart scored four runs in the sixth inning to comeback from a 3-0 deficit. Victor Sorrento (Monroe Township, NJ) drilled a go-ahead two-run home run with two outs to give SHU a 4-3 lead. The Pioneers had just two hits prior to their four run sixth.
Wagner started right where they left off yesterday, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning of game one. Chris Smith started the rally with a single to left field. Nick Dini followed with an infield hit to put two men on with one out. After a walk to Shaun Flynn loaded the bases, Smith would score Wagner's first run on a wild pitch. Following a ground out, Tommy Mazurkiewicz knocked in Wagner's second run with a RBI single to left field.
The Seahawks added another run in the third inning, capitalizing on some sloppy SHU play. Flynn started the rally with a two-out single up the middle. Following a walk and a hit by pitch, Flynn would come around to score on a SHU error.
Sacred Heart's bats finally came alive in the sixth as SHU mustered just two hits in the first five frames. Freshman Zack Short (Hurley, NY) began the rally with a triple to right center field, while Jayson Sullivan (Charlton, NY) followed with a walk. Short then scored on an error by Wagner second baseman Dan Wasilick. After reaching third on the error, Sullivan then came around to score on a RBI ground out by Dan Perez (Seymour, CT). With two outs and a man on second base, Sorrento came up with the biggest hit of his SHU career, a two-run blast over the left center field wall to give SHU a 4-3 lead.
Cooksey pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless ball to record the win in game one.
Wagner once again took the lead in game two of the doubleheader, scoring its lone run off a SHU error in the bottom of the second inning.
Sacred Heart answered back in the fourth inning with Derick Horn (Valatie, NY) knocking a RBI single to left field to score Short from third. Short led off the inning with a base hit, before stealing second base and then reaching third on a sacrifice bunt by Sullivan.
After not scoring for seven consecutive innings, the Pioneers finally broke through in the 12th inning. Sophomore Jesus Medina (New York, NY) singled up the middle to lead off the inning. Short followed with a base hit to left field to put runners on the corners with no outs. After Medina was tagged out at home on a Sullivan ground ball to shortstop to give Wagner one out, both Short and Sullivan both scored on an error by second baseman Nick Dini. Junior Matt Charmello (Rossmoor, CA) knocked a ground ball that squeaked through Dini's legs and into left field.
Sacred Heart will finish out the regular season with a four-game series at CCSU next weekend. The Pioneers will also play a mid-week game at Quinnipiac on Tuesday afternoon.