Bridgeport, CT – The Sacred Heart baseball team split their doubleheader with LIU Brooklyn Saturday afternoon at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard. SHU lost a wild game one by a score of 9-8 before rebounding to take game two, 5-0. The Pioneers (7-12, 4-3) were up 6-0 after two innings in game one and 8-6 going into the final inning but could not hold on. In game two, Sacred Heart got another great pitching performance, this time from sophomore Jeff Stoddard who threw a complete game shutout for the Pioneers to notch his second win of the season.
Junior Nick Leiningen struggled in his fifth start of the season, giving up five runs in just three innings of work to earn the no decision. Dan Wertz (Cross River, NJ) notched the loss coming in relief of Leiningen, giving up four runs in three innings.
Sacred Heart had the bats working early on in game one, stroking five hits in a row en route to a four run first inning against LIU starting pitcher, Jordan Wilcox. Perez would knock in the Pioneers' first run of the afternoon, stroking a base hit to right field to score Billy McDonough (Ballston Spa, NY) who reached on a single of his own. Senior Dave Boisture knocked in two RBI with a single through the left side that scored the duo of John Murphy and Dan Perez who both reached on base hits of their own. Boisture would come around to score on a fielder's choice to cap the four run first.
Sacred Heart' middle of the order struck again in the second inning, adding two more runs to their total. Perez drove Murphy in on a double to left field while Boisture knocked in Perez again with a single to center field. Murphy doubled to right field to get into scoring position for Perez.
LIU Brooklyn would come all the way back in the fourth inning with a six run inning. Leiningen gave up a double to Mike Garcia and a single to Chris Untereiner to start off the inning and then walked three Blackbirds in a row before giving way to relief pitcher Dan Wertz. Wertz would not fair much better, giving up back-to-back hits to Pete Leonello and Kyle Demarco before retiring the next three.
Sacred Heart would retake the lead in the fourth inning, scoring two more. Freshman Jayson Sullivan started the rally for the Pioneers with a base hit to center with one down before scoring on a single by Murphy. Murphy would come around again on a double by Perez.
The Pioneers would hold onto the 8-6 lead heading into seventh and final inning but could not close the deal. LIU Brooklyn started the seventh with three straight hits and a clutch two run double by Jesse Brown tied the game up at eight. Brown would finish the LIU comeback, scoring on a Sacred Heart wild pitch for the winning run.
Sacred Heart's pitching returned with a vengeance in game two in the form of sophomore Jeff Stoddard (Branford, CT). Stoddard pitched a much needed complete game shutout, giving up just three hits all afternoon.
Wild Pitches, walks and errors were the demise of LIU Brooklyn in game two, with Sacred Heart only able to muster three hits but still score five runs.
Sacred Heart scored three runs in a sloppy second inning for LIU Brooklyn in which the Pioneers only notched one hit. Rocco Gondek (Glastonbury, CT) knocked in the first Pioneers run with a sacrifice fly that scored Boisture who led off the inning with a bunt single. Sacred Heart would score two more in the inning on poor LIU fielding and a wild pitch. Freshman Jesus Medina (New York, NY) and senior captain Jonathan Servilla (Fairfield, CT) both scored.
Sacred Heart would score their other two runs in the fifth inning, despite not getting a hit in the inning. Wild pitches, walks and errors would allow Murphy and Sullivan to come around the bases.
Sacred Heart and LIU Brooklyn wrap up their four game series tomorrow morning at 11 AM as Head Coach Nick Giaquinto looks for his 500th career victory.