(Emmitsburg, MD) – The Sacred Heart Pioneers completed their second consecutive NEC four-game sweep, capping it off with another doubleheader sweep at Mount St. Mary's by scores of 7-0 and 10-8.
The Pioneers scored all their runs in the first two innings of game one, beginning with a three run first inning. JJ Edwards (Endwell, NY) drove in the first run with an RBI single to right, followed by a run scoring error and an RBI single to center by Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA).
MJ Schifano (Monroe, NY) improved his record to 3-2 with a dominating complete game shutout, his first of the season. He allowed just two hits and a walk with two strikeouts in pitching the third straight complete game by Pioneer pitching.
In game two, the Pioneers battled both the rain and Mountaineers in slugging out a 10-8 victory for the series sweep. SHU jumped to a 2-0 lead in the second on an RBI double to right by Hunter Phillips (Monroe, CT) and a sac fly by Edwards, but the Mount tied it the next half-inning on an RBI single by Tommy Flynn and a run-scoring error.
The Pioneers opened up a 9-2 lead in the sixth, scoring twice in the fifth and three times their next time up. Edwards followed a run-scoring error with an RBI single to right in the fifth, and Tedesco (RBI single) and Schifano (2 RBI single) padded the lead in the sixth.
They proved to be big runs, with the Mount bidding for a comeback with a run in the sixth, two in the seventh, and three in the eighth. Mark Quaranta took advantage of back-to-back SHU errors in the sixth with a two-out RBI single, then knocked in another with an RBI single in the seventh followed by a run-scoring wild pitch. The Mountaineers cut SHU's lead to one run in the eighth on Nick Walker's RBI double and Shane Eyler's two-run single, all coming with two outs. That is as close as they would get, though, with Quaranta thrown out trying to get back to second on the play while representing the tying run.
Tedesco walked with the bases loaded in the ninth for an insurance run, and John Hermanson (Milford, CT) finished the game with a perfect ninth, including two strikeouts, after entering in the eighth for his first save. Kody Kerski (Waterbury, CT) earned his first win, going 5.2 innings and giving up one earned run on two hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
Both teams battled cold rain from the third inning on, combing for nine errors as a by-product of the conditions. However, the Pioneers prevailed for their eighth win in their last nine games to improve to 13-7 in NEC play and 21-18 overall. Sacred Heart is next in action Tuesday at Fairfield University, taking on the Stags at 3:30 pm in a cross-town mid-week game for their final non-conference meeting of the year.