April 10, 2009
NEW BRITAIN, CT - Jay Schillaci scored the winning run from second base on a ground ball to short as the Central Connecticut State baseball team came back to nip Sacred Heart 10-9 in eight innings in the opening game of a doubleheader on Saturday.
Central Connecticut, 13-9 overall and 3-3 in the Northeast Conference, led the game 4-0 after three innings, Richie Tri drove in a pair of them with a single in the third. The three Central runs off of SHU starter Chris Barthel were unearned in the third inning when leadoff hitter Sean Allaire reached on an error.
The Pioneers, 11-17-1 and 2-4, got on the board in the fourth when Tyler Santos doubled with one out and scored on a single by Ryan Lynch. They cut the Central lead to 4-3 in the fifth on an RBI double by Phil Tantillo and a single by Santos.
Central jumped back out to a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the inning thanks to an RBI single by sophomore Pat Epps and a double play ground out.
The Pioneers used some timely hitting and a pair of Blue Devil errors to plate five runs in the top of the sixth inning. Tantillo, Jeff Heppner, Frank Bainer and Hunter Phillips all had RBI in the frame. All five of the Pioneer runs were unearned.
Barthel got the first batter on one pitch in the bottom of the inning but then gave up sharp single to left to Allaire. Freshman Mike Olszyk came out of the bullpen and walked Casey Walko to put two on. He got the next batter on a ground out, but Epps drove home both runners with a triple to deep right center, to tie the game at 8-8.
After a scoreless seventh, Jeff Hanson put SHU ahead in the top of the eighth with his eighth homer of the season.
Olszyk walked Walko to start the bottom of the eighth, but got the next batter to fly out to center. Walko advanced to second on a wild pitch and Epps drove him home with a double. Schillaci then hit a comebacker to Olszyk, who threw to third to get the runner trying to advance.
Olszyk walked Tri to put two runners on. Tommy Meade was the next hitter and hit a grounder to SHU shortstop Tantillo. Tantillo threw to second to try and force the runner, but he was called safe. Schillaci never stopped on the play and rounded third. Phillps threw to the plate trying to get the runner but Schillaci slid around the tag attempt by SHU catcher Heppner and scored the winning run.
Epps finished the game with four hits and four RBI for the Blue Devils. Chris Chagnon picked up the win to improve to 4-0.
Olszyk took the loss for the Pioneers and is now 1-4.