April 17, 2010
NEW BRITAIN, CT - When rain forced a change in venue from the Sacred Heart's home baseball field at Harbor Yard to the new turf field at Central Connecticut the visiting Blue Devils used it to their advantage and banged out 25 hits and 16 runs to sweep a doubleheader from Sacred Heart, 8-7 and 8-0.
The Pioneers, 14-18 overall and 5-6 in the NEC, was still designated as the home team despite the change in field. Central, 13-12 and 8-7, jumped on SHU starter Jared Balbach for a pair of runs in the top of the first.
A scary moment occurred for Balbach in the top of the second inning when he was hit flush on the arm on a hard line drive hit by CCSU catcher Danny Hickey. After a brief delay, Balbach was able to stay in the game.
Sacred Heart got one back in the bottom of the second on a solo homer by Jeff Heppner, his eighth blast of the season.
The Blue Devils extended the lead to 6-1 with a pair of runs in the third and fourth. Pat Epps had the big blows with a two-run homer and two-run single. He drove in five of the eight Central runs in the game.
An RBI double by Rob Griffith in the bottom of the fourth cut the Central lead to 6-2. The Blue Devils answered with two more to make it 8-2 in the fifth. Kyle Zarotney had the big blow with a solo homer to right.
SHU exploded for four runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut the CCSU lead to two. Singles by Hunter Phillips, Rocco Gondek, Mike Drowne, and a two-run triple by Steve Tedesco chased Central starter Dave Krasnowiecko with no outs in the inning. Donny White came on and got the first batter he faced before Heppner ripped an RBI double to make it 8-6. He struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
The Pioneers got a leadoff single from Drowne in the seventh, but Tedesco grounded into a fielder's choice. White walked pinch hitter Dave Boisture to put two on. Tedesco stole third and scored on a fielder's choice groundout by Heppner to make it 8-7. With the tying run on first, White struck out Griffith looking to end the game.
In the second game, Central got a run off SHU starter Corey Corcoran in the second inning and the game stayed that way until the fifth. In the fifth Sean Allaire blasted his fourth homer of the season to right to make it 2-0.
The Blue Devils got a three-run homer from Richie Tri in the fifth that made it 5-0. They would score three more in the seventh off Pioneer reliever Matt Fitton.
Central starter Jack Greenhouse limited the Pioneers to just four hits in the first 4 1/3. He gave way to Tyler Roirdan in the fifth with runners on second and third. Riordan squashed the only SHU threat of the game by striking out the next two hitters.
The two teams will finish the series Sunday morning at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport at 11 a.m.