May 10, 2009
TRUMBULL, CT - Junior Mike Drowne (South Hadley, MA) hit a walk-off homer with one out in the bottom of the 12th in the first game, and freshman Hunter Phillips (Monroe, CT) followed suit with a leadoff shot in the bottom of the ninth in the second game, to help the Sacred Heart baseball team sweep a Northeast Conference doubleheader from Wagner College Sunday afternoon.
Sacred Heart won the opener, 4-3, while taking the second game by a 9-8 score. The wins move SHU to 24-23-1 overall and puts it in a first-place tie on top of the NEC standings at 14-8.
Junior Jared Balbach (Pine Bush, NY) gave up two runs in the opening game but allowed just one run and four hits over the next seven. He left after eight innings with the game tied 3-3. He struck out four and walked three.
Junior Chris Zaccherio (Manhasset, NY) came on in the ninth and pitched four perfect innings, striking out four. His record improved to 4-3 when Drowne hit the walk-off homer in the 12th.
The previous three Pioneer runs all came off the bat of junior Jeff Heppner. He delivered a two-run double in the first, raising his SHU single-season record to 54. The other scored with runners on the corners and no one out in the sixth. He grounded into a double play but pinch runner MJ Schifano, running for Jeff Hanson who had doubled, scored the tying run.
In game two, Wagner got to SHU starter Corey Corcoran (Norwich, CT) for six runs in the first three innings. Vin Avella smashed his team-record 15th homer of the season in the first and Jon Lucas drove home one with a single in the second, followed by two more with a single in a four-run Seahawk fourth.
Senior Tyler Santos (Johnson City, NY) hit a two-run shot for the Pioneers in the first that temporarily gave them a 2-1 lead. Drowne doubled to lead off the third and later scored on a ground out by Hanson that cut the Wagner lead to 6-3.
The Pioneers took an 8-7 lead with a five-run fifth inning. Phillips hit his first collegiate homer, a three-run blast to left that got SHU within a run. Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA) followed with a single to right and Drowne then hit his second homer of the doubleheader to give the Pioneers the lead.
Senior Ryan Lynch (N. Babylon, NY) came on to relive Corcoran in the fourth inning and pitched five strong innings, allowing just two hits and two runs. Mike Olszyk came on to pitch the top of the ninth and set the Seahawks down in order.
Phillips' second homer of the game, leading off the bottom of the ninth, came on a 2-1 pitch from Seahawk reliever Ryan Van Spronsen.