May 8, 2010
Staten Island, NY - Jeff Heppner (Aqubogue, NY) posted three RBI and Jared Balbach (Pine Bush, NY) tossed seven strong innings to pick up the victory in game one of a Northeast Conference double header today against Wagner. The Seahawks overcame three errors in the nightcap to salvage a split of the twin bill, Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA) and Hunter Phillips (Monroe, CT) each drove in a run for SHU in the loss.
Wagner (19-25, 12-11 NEC) took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning of the first game as Vin Avella started the frame with his 13th homer of the season. The Pioneers immediately responded with three runs of their own in the top of the third. Tedesco had the first RBI of the afternoon for SHU with a single through the left side to tie the game at one. Later in the inning Tedesco and John Murphy (Seymour, CT) successfully executed a double steal to put two runners in scoring position. Heppner also delivered with a single through the left side to plate two runs and give the Pioneers a 3-1 advantage. The Seahawks cut their deficit in half in the next half inning with a squeeze play to make it a 3-2 affair.
Sacred Heart (23-22, 14-9 NEC) took advantage of two Wagner miscues in the top of the fifth inning to extend the lead to three runs. The Pioneers plated their first run of the inning after loading the bases and Seahawk starter Matt Watson unleashed a wild pitch. Heppner got his third RBI of the day on a ball that should have been a fielder's choice but ended in an error to make the game 5-2. Balbach earned the victory on the mound, his seventh of 2010, with a complete game seven inning effort.
It was the Pioneers who jumped out to an early lead in game two as Tedesco scampered home on another Seahawk wild pitch. Wagner pulled ahead in the bottom of the second, scoring one run on a Sacred Heart fielding error and another on a Kevin McDonnell RBI double. Avella blew the game open for the Seahawks in the third with a three-run blast to right center to put his team up 5-1.
Sacred Heart scratched out one run in the fifth and sixth innings but would not be able to complete the comeback. Tedesco brought the Pioneers closer at 5-2 with an RBI single to score MJ Schifano (Monroe, NY). Phillips notched an RBI in the sixth but the Seahawks traded the run for the out and went on to win 5-3 in the finale. David Rees came on for the Seahawks in relief to toss the last one and a third innings to pick up his third save of the season.
The Pioneers will look for the series win tomorrow while the Seahawks look to force a split. SHU has won nine of its last 11 games, all against NEC opponents. First pitch for tomorrow's finale is set for 12:00 pm.