March 21, 2009
ORONO, ME - Sophomore Matt Fitton (Lebanon, CT) tossed a complete game in the opener, while Jeff Heppner collected four hits and three RBI in the twinbill as the Pioneers swept the Maine Black Bears on Saturday, 4-1 and 7-4.
Fitton was masterful in the first game, allowing just four hits. He surrendered his lone run in the bottom of the second inning but his team has already staked him to a 2-0 lead on a double by Heppner in the first.
In the nightcap, the Pioneers fell behind 2-0 when Maine scored in the first off SHU starter Jared Balbach (Pine Bush, NY) on three hits. SHU bounced back in the top of the second with three runs, two of them scoring on a triple by Paul Schmidt (Amityville, NY). Schmidt scored on a ground out to first by Mike Olszyk (Hamden, CT).
The Pioneers extended the lead to 4-2 in the fourth when Tyler Santos (Johnson City, NY) doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a two-out single by Olszyk.
Maine, 10-9, got one back in the bottom of the fifth but the Pioneers scored three more in the top of the sixth to open up a 7-3 edge. Senior Jeff Hanson (Woodstock, NY) walked to lead off the frame and Santos followed with a single. Heppner singled to score Hanson. Schmidt bunted to put runners on second and third and Maine then walked Olszyk intentionally to load the bases. MJ Schifano (Monroe, NY) hit a grounder to first that scored one run and Heppner scored when the first baseman threw the ball away on the play.
Balbach was lifted in the sixth for junior Mike Drowne (S. Hadley, MA). He struggled with his control and walked the first two Black Bears he faced. Drowne got the next batter on a ground out, but allowed an RBI single to make it 7-4. He got out of further trouble by inducing a ground ball double play to end the inning.
Junior Chris Zaccherio came on in the seventh for the Pioneers and allowed a one out single, but earned the save when the next batter lined out to right and Ryan Lynch (N. Babylon, NY) threw back to first to double up the runner.
The win evened SHU's record at 7-7. The two teams will hook up for a doubleheader again on Sunday starting at noon.