BRONX, N.Y.— The Sacred Heart University baseball team erased a four-run deficit before falling late to LIU Brooklyn, 7-4 on Saturday afternoon. After the Pioneers (17-32, 12-13 NEC) tied it in the seventh the Blackbirds (25-24, 13-12 NEC) used a three-run eighth to pull away with the win in the series finale at Houlihan Park on the campus of Fordham University.
LIU Brooklyn took advantage early with a single and a walk to start the game before a Pioneers miscue loaded the bases. That allowed Luis Arias to plate the first run of the game on the RBI fielder's choice. SHU recorded two outs with a runner on second in the top of the second before another error allowed the inning to continue as the Blackbirds recorded two runs to take the 3-0 lead. The lead extended to four in the sixth on a RBI sacrifice fly by Andrew Smith in the top of the sixth.
The Pioneers were held to just one hit through the first five innings by Jackson Svete. That all changed in the sixth as SHU opened with back to back hits including a double by junior Kyle Oliver to put runners on second and third. Redshirt-sophomore Jake Frasca drove in the first run on an RBI groundout. Sophomore Elijah Brown then drove in Oliver with a RBI single to centerfield to cut the deficit to two. Co-captain PJ DeFilippo recorded a two-out single to third as Brown hustled from second base to beat the throw at the dish to make it a 4-3 ballgame.
The rally continued into the seventh for SHU as the Pioneers had runners on the corners with two outs. Oliver went on the delayed steal to second, forcing the Blackbirds to check third. An errant throw to the plate by the third baseman allowed sophomore Stephen Thibault to score from third to tie it at 4-4.
Momentum swung back in the Blackbirds favor as Smith drove home the go-ahead run on a RBI single with one out in the top of the eighth. A two-RBI double by Alex Briggs pushed the score to 7-4. SHU was unable to find its footing after that with just one hit over the final two innings of play.
LIU Brooklyn outhit the Pioneers 11-7 in the finale, co-captain Cody Doyle was the lone batter to record multiple hits. The five miscues by the home team tied a season-high.
Freshman Ryan Lamay pitched four innings in the start for SHU, allowing three unearned runs on five hits. Junior Baylor Sundahl pitched three and a third innings of relief, suffering the loss with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. Redshirt-junior Nick Rubino surrendered just one hit in the final inning and a third.
The Pioneers conclude the home portion of the 2018 schedule Tuesday night with a game against Albany in Ansonia. SHU will honor its senior class after the game.