NORFOLK, Va.— The Sacred Heart University baseball team opened the 2018 season with a 9-4 win over Norfolk State at Miller Field on Friday afternoon. The Pioneers (1-0) have won back-to-back season openers after defeating the Spartans to start the weekend.
Head Coach Nick Restaino earned his first win as head coach of the Pioneers. SHU recorded 15 hits on the day with all nine starters reaching base in the win.
At the dish, sophomore Elijah Brown and junior Kyle Oliver led the way with three hits each. Seven Pioneers recorded a run batted in against the Spartans with Brown and senior Dan Schock both recording a team-high two runs batted in. The Pioneers also recorded six doubles in the hit parade with Schock leading the team with two doubles.
Junior Brent Teller received the opening day nod for the second straight year. He recorded seven strong innings on the bump, allowing just two runs on three hits and striking out seven batters. Freshman Joe Greco was the lone Pioneers reliever pitching two innings and picking up a pair of strikeouts in his first collegiate game.
Norfolk State jumped on the scoreboard first with a two-run bottom of the first inning with RBI singles by Stephen Baughan and Justin Burrell.
SHU was quick to answer, driving in three runs in the top half of the second. Sophomore Austin Markmann recorded SHU's first hit of the season as he opened the second with a double. He would later score on Anthony Capozziello's RBI single with one out. Brown, batting in the lead-off spot gave SHU the 3-2 lead in the second driving in two runs on his single to right field.
The Pioneers chipped in another run in the fifth inning as Schock ripped the two-out double to right-center field. It was another three-run inning for SHU in the top of the sixth as the SHU offense continued to find it's rhythm starting the frame with back-to-back singles by Stephen Thibault and Brown. Redshirt sophomore Jake Frasca recorded his first hit as a Pioneer with a double to left field. Redshirt senior PJ DeFilippo made it four hits in a row with his RBI single through the right side. After a pitching change, Markmann plated the final run of the inning on the sacrifice fly.
Norfolk State got two runs back in the bottom of the eighth off of Greco an as Baughan recorded the RBI on a double play with the bases loaded. Alsander Womack cut the deficit to three runs with his RBI single. SHU responded with a two-run ninth inning as Schock recorded his second RBI double of the game and Thibault recording the textbook sacrifice bunt RBI to drive in Schock.
The Pioneers continue the weekend down in Norfolk with a matchup against Northeast counterpart, Stony Brook at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.