April 18, 2009
BRIDGEPORT, CT - Senior Tyler Santos drove home the winning run with a single over the head of a drawn-in outfield with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to give the Sacred Heart baseball team a 7-5 win in the nightcap of a doubleheader against LIU and earn the sweep. The Pioneers won the opener 10-4.
LIU, 9-24 and 5-6 in the Northeast Conference, scored first in the opener on an RBI single by Frank DiMasi that scored James Jones who had led off the game with a single to right. Jones, the Blackbird starting pitcher, gave the run right back in the bottom of the inning when Mike Drowne singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by Jeff Hanson.
The Pioneers, 14-19-1 and 5-5, broke the game open with a five-run third inning. Drowne and Santos each had RBI triples in the frame, and junior Jeff Heppner launched his eighth homer of the year in the inning, a two-run shot to left center.
A two-run single from senior Phil Tantillo made it 8-1 in the fifth inning, allowing senior righty Chris Barthel to coast home with the complete game victory. It was Barthel's first win of the season. He struck out five and walked one to improve to 1-4.
In the nightcap, LIU again got on the board first when Jones singled to lead off the game and eventually scored on an RBI groundout by DiMasi. Jones singled again with two outs in the third. Greg DiSantis followed with a single and DiMasi picked up another RBI with a single of his own.
LIU starter Couri Benz retired the first six Pioneers he faced in the game, but the Pioneers scored three times on five hits in the bottom of the third to take a 3-2 lead. Paul Schmidt and Hunter Phillips started the uprising with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Drowne drove Schmidt home with a single. Tantillo tied it with a single that scored Phillips, and Heppner gave SHU the lead with an infield single with the bases loaded that scored Drowne.
Santos gave SHU started Jared Balbach a 4-2 lead in the fifth with a sacrifice fly that scored Drowne, who had led off the frame with a single and went to third on a Tantillo double.
The Blackbirds tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the sixth when DeSantis and DiMasi led off with singles. Chris Kievit bunted them both along and DeSantis scored on an error by SHU shortstop Phil Tantillo. The tying run scored on a comebacker to Balbach. The play caught Derek Stupski between second and third. Balbach ran at Stupski and got him at second base but in the process DiMasi broke home from third and slid in with the evener.
The Pioneers went out in order in the bottom of the sixth. Mike Olszyk relieved Balbach in the seventh and retired the Blackbirds without a whimper. In the bottom of the frame, Benz got Steve Tedesco for the first out but then walked Drowne and hit Tantillo to put two on. Hanson loaded the bases on an infield single to third. He hit the ball wide of the bag and LIU's Stupski dove to keep the ball in the infield. He got up trying to force Drowne at third, but the SHU center fielder was in safely.
LIU brought the outfield in when Santos came up, but the SHU third baseman launched a ball deep to right the one-hopped the fence and gave the Pioneers the win.
Olszyk picked up the win in relief to improve to 2-3. Benz took the loss and is now 2-7.