April 24, 2009

Pioneer Baseball Blasts Monmouth, 19-10

April 24, 2009

Final Stats

W. LONG BRANCH, NJ - Senior Frank Bainer (Prospect, CT) had four hits and five RBI, while junior Mike Drowne (South Hadley, MA) also drove in five on three hits to help the Sacred Heart baseball team come back to beat host Monmouth, 19-11, in a Northeast Conference game Friday afternoon.

The win was the fourth straight in the NEC for the Pioneers, who improved to 16-20-1 overall and 7-5 in the conference.

After Monmouth took a 3-0 lead in the second, thanks to a two-run single from Josh Boyd, the Pioneers scored two in the top of the third thanks to a two-RBI double by senior Phil Tantillo (Blue Point, NY).

Monmouth, 19-17 and 8-5, opened up a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Paul Bottigliero and Mike Casale had the big blows with back-to-back RBI doubles.

Sacred Heart jumped out to an 8-6 lead with a six-run top of the sixth inning. The Pioneers loaded the bases on a Monmouth error and a pair of singles by Tyler Santos and Jeff Heppner. Mike Olszyk got hit by a pitch to force in a run then Bainer singled home the second run then Drowne cleared the bases with a triple. Tantillo plated the sixth run with an infield single to third.

The Hawks tied it in the bottom of the frame on a pair of unearned runs. Nick Pulsonetti drove in the first with a sacrifice fly, and Rick Nierhaus the other with a single to left. That hit signaled the end of the day for SHU starter Chris Barthel, who was charged with five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. Senior Chris Zaccherio came on and got the Pioneers out of further danger.

SHU staked Zaccherio to a five-run lead in the top of the seventh. With one out, Santos walked and Heppner followed with his ninth homer of the season to make it 10-8. Paul Schmidt singled with two outs, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by Bainer, making it 11-8. Hunter Phillips followed with a single to left and both he and Bainer scored on a single by Drowne to open up the 13-8 advantage.

Monmouth came up with a pair in the bottom of the inning but the Pioneers broke it open in the eighth with four more runs. Jeff Hanson led off the inning with a double. He was lifted for pinch runner Steve Tedesco, who went to third on a single by Santos. A pair of Monmouth errors allowed two of the Pioneer runs to score and the other two scored on a single to right by Bainer. Three of the four runs in the frame were unearned.

Zaccherio picked up the win in the game, throwing the final 3 1/3 innings, improving to 2-3 on the season.

The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at noon. Matt Fitton will pitch the opener for the Pioneers, and senior Jared Balbach the nightcap.