(Bridgeport, CT) – In the wildest, back-and-forth game of the season, the Sacred Heart Baseball team completed a doubleheader sweep with a 5-4 walk-off win in ten innings against the Quinnipiac Bobcats Saturday night at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard.
Down 4-3 with two outs and two strikes, Kenny Byram (Ponte Verde, FL) singled to keep the game alive for SHU, setting up Hunter Phillips (Monroe, CT) to rip a game-tying RBI double that skipped to the left-field wall off Bobcat starting pitcher Nicholas Fabrizio. That chased Byram home and Fabrizio from the game, denying him of a ten-inning complete game win despite a bulldog effort. Conor McEvoy (Watertown, CT) followed with a groundball single to left off Matthew Siciliano, sending home Phillips to slide in safely with the game-winning run ahead of left-fielder Jesse Ulrich's throw that touched off a raucous celebration after 17 grueling innings of baseball.
The Pioneers saw late leads of 1-0 and 3-1 escape them to send the game to extra innings. Ahead by two in the seventh, the last scheduled inning in the finale of a doubleheader, the Bobcats fought back to tie in their final at bat. After a Zak Palmer RBI single, Nic Civale drove a game-tying RBI double to center to knot the game at three in the seventh. SHU had taken the lead the half-inning before on an RBI double by Dan Perez (Seymour, CT) and an RBI single by Matt Charmello (Rossmoor, CA)
Both teams had opportunities to push across tie-breaking runs in extra innings. John Hermanson (Milford, CT) did not allow a run in the eighth, despite the Bobcats putting two in scoring position with one out on an error. The Pioneers also failed to bring a runner in from third with less than two outs in the eighth. Quinnipiac finally broke the tie in the tenth on three straight singles by Kyle Nisson, Palmer, and Vincent Guglietti.
SHU scored the game's first run on an RBI single by Rocco Gondek (Glastonbury, CT) in the second, but QU tied it in the fifth on an RBI single by Guerino. Both starters limited the offense through much of the game. Robbie Maguire struck out nine in giving up one run in six innings. Fabrizio, who deserved better, took a tough-luck loss in scattering 11 hits with four earned runs, no walks, and seven strikeoust. However, Hermanson earned the win with 3.2 innings of relief, giving up one run with three walks and four strikeouts.
Sacred Heart also beat Quinnipiac 6-1 in the doubleheader opener. The Pioneers took the lead on an RBI by Perez, who reached on an error, in the first. He drove in another with an RBI triple to right-center in the fourth, also scoring on the play on an errant relay throw to third. Phillips broke the game open with a three-run double to centerfield in the sixth after QU scored its only run a half-inning earlier on Palmer's single.
Troy Scribner (Washington Depot, CT) went the distance for the win in game one, striking out five and walking one in giving up a run on seven hits. John Murphy (Seymour, CT) went 3-3 with two runs in the opener.
Sacred Heart goes for the series sweep against Quinnipiac Sunday at 6:00 pm.