April 17, 2009
BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Sacred Heart baseball team spotted Long Island University nine runs in the first on Friday after, came back to tie it up in the fifth, but a two-run homer by James Jones completed his cycle and helped the Blackbirds outpace the Pioneers 15-11 in a Northeast Conference game.
LIU, 9-22 overall and 5-4 in the NEC, scored nine times in the first off SHU starter Matt Fitton. Jones got it started with a leadoff triple and the Blackbirds used seven hits and three walks to take the 9-0 lead.
Sacred Heart, 12-19-1 and 3-5, got two back in the bottom of the inning on a leadoff homer from Mike Drowne and then back-to-back doubles from Jeff Hanson and Tyler Santos. Drowne finished the game with four hits for the Pioneers.
An RBI single by junior Steve Tedesco, followed by a run-scoring double by Drowne in the second made it 9-4. Drowne stole third and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Phil Tantillo to cut the LIU lead to four going to the third.
Jeff Heppner clubbed his seventh homer of the season with one out in the bottom of the third to make it 9-6. Hunter Phillips chased home Paul Schmidt from first with a double with two outs to make it a two-run game.
Drowne led off the bottom of the fourth for the Pioneers with a double and scored two batters later on a single by Hanson.
Senior Chris Zaccherio relieved Fitton with two outs in the first inning and threw 6 1/3 innings of shutout relief to allow the Pioneers to send the game to the eighth with the score tied at 9-9.
Zaccherio got the first two batters in the eighth inning but allowed a single up the middle to Julian Kenner. Jones was next and he launched a 3-1 Zaccherio fast ball deep over the right field fence to give LIU the lead again at 11-9.
SHU got an unearned run in the bottom of the frame when Hanson led off with a double and came around to score on an error by Kenner, the LIU shortstop.
Zaccherio came out to start the ninth for the Pioneers and gave up three singles, leaving with the bases loaded and one out. Ryan Lynch came in from the bullpen and gave up consecutive singles to Tyler Jones and Michael Tinneny to help the Blackbirds open the game up.
Gerard Tingos, the fifth pitcher of the game for the Blackbirds, threw the final 1 2/3 innings to earn his fifth save of the season.
The two teams will hook up for a doubleheader on Saturday, starting at noon.