(Bridgeport) – The Sacred Heart Pioneers rallied for two runs with two outs in their final at bat, forcing extra innings for Dan Perez (Seymour, CT) to drive home Hunter Phillips (Monroe, CT) with the game-winning run in a 4-3 walk-off win for a doubleheader sweep of Wagner Friday afternoon at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard.
Phillips bunted for a hit with two outs in the eighth, setting up Perez for a double to the right-centerfield gap. Phillips raced around third with the relay beating him home, but he slid head first to the front of the plate to avoid the tag and score the winning run.
The Pioneers trailed 3-1 with two outs in the seventh (the last scheduled inning), when MJ Schifano (Monroe, NY) hit a come-backer to Wagner pitcher Dale Hering with the bases loaded. His throwing error to first extended the game and gave the Pioneers their second run. With the bases still loaded and the tying and winning runs in scoring position, Steve Tedesco hit a 1-2 pitch into the left-side hole, where Seahawks shortstop Ian Vasquez made a diving stop. He prevented the winning run from scoring, but not the tying run as everyone advanced and the Pioneers tied the game at three.
Wagner took a 2-0 lead in the third on a two-run single by Hayden Hunter, then made it 3-1 in the seventh on an RBI single by Joe Conforti in the seventh after SHU scored its first run on a double play in the sixth.
In game one, the Pioneers beat the Seahawks 8-2. Phillips and Dave Boisture (Highland Mills, NY) had RBI singles in the second to give SHU a 2-1 lead. Wagner tied it in the third on an RBI double by Kevin McDonell.
JJ Edwards (Endwell, NY) gave the Pioneers the lead for good with a bases-loaded infield single in the fourth, then broke the game open with a three-run double to left in the sixth. Rob Griffith (Lake Ronkonkoma, NY) and Conor McEvoy (Watertown, CT) added RBI singles as part of a six-run sixth.
Nick Leiningen (Millwood, NY) earned the complete-game win in the opener with seven innings of eight-hit ball with a season-best seven strikeouts. Matt Fitton (Lebanon, CT) pitched a perfect eighth in the second game, earning him the win in relief.
The Pioneers improved to 30-21 and now stand one win away from tying their program high, set last season. Sacred Heart hosts Wagner in the regular-season finale Saturday at 11:00 a.m. on Senior Day for their final tune-up before the Northeast Conference Baseball Tournament next weekend at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, CT. The game was originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m., but was pushed up two hours with the possibilty of rain in the afternoon.