Pioneers Comeback Halted as Hawaii takes Finale, 6-5

Pioneers Comeback Halted as Hawaii takes Finale, 6-5

HONOLULU, HI— The Sacred Heart baseball team battled back-and-forth with Hawaii but the home team prevailed with the 6-5 victory in the series finale on Sunday night at Les Murakami Stadium.

 The Pioneers (5-10) opened up the scoring in the third inning as they loaded the bases as senior Jake Friar and Ted Shaw reached base on a throwing error and single respectively. Junior Alex Perry advanced both a base on his sacrifice bunt and freshman Elijah Brown worked a walk to loaded the bases. Junior Anthony Capozziello riding his hot bat in the series singled through the right side driving home two RBI for the early lead. The Rainbow Warriors (10-5) answered in the bottom of the third as Dylan Vchulek scored on a double play groundout by Kekai Rios. Hawaii added two more in the bottom of the fourth on the sacrifice bunt by Logan Pouelsen and RBI double by Marcus Doi to right center field to take the 3-2 lead. Perry led off the fifth inning with a walk and then would score on a RBI groundout by senior Keith Klebart to tie the game at three. Hawaii extended the lead back to two runs on an RBI groundout by Adam Fogel and a sacrifice fly by Josh Rojas. 

SHU continued to fight, loading up the bases on a walk by junior Cody Doyle, a double by Friar and and a walk by senior Shaw all with two outs. Perry then drove home Doyle and Friar with the two RBI single to left field to tie the game up at 5-5.  The Rainbow Warriors started off the bottom of the sixth with back-to-back walks. After a pitching change, Jonathan Weeks laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners in scoring position, setting up Vchulek for the RBI groundout and 6-5 lead. The Pioneers would get runners on first and second in the bottom of the eighth inning but Matt Estes was able to get out of the jam, getting Brown to fly out to left field. Both teams were even with hits at nine, but the Pioneers stranded 10 runners on base as Hawaii came away with the series sweep. 

Perry and Friar led the Pioneers at the plate going 2-for-3 and 3-for-4 respectively. Friar recorded the lone extra base hit for SHU and had two runs scored. Sophomore Baylor Sundahl took the loss, pitching five innings and allowing six runs on seven hits while striking out three. Freshman Austin Markmann and junior James Taubl pitched three shutout innings in relief. 

The Pioneers return to the east coast for a three-game weekend in the tri-state area beginning Friday, March 17 at Hofstra. First pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m.