Pioneers Quest For NEC Three-Peat Begins Thursday
Northeast Conference Baseball Tournament
May 23-26, 2012
First Energy Park - Lakewood, NJ
#2 Sacred Heart Pioneers vs. #3 Monmouth Hawk
Thursday, May 23, 3:30 PM
Live video: www.necfrontrow.com
Live audio: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/sacredheart.portal?mode=link&eventId=103505&broadcastType=audio#
Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart Pioneers are looking for their third straight Northeast Conference Championship after winning the title in 2011 and 2012. Like the past two seasons, the Pioneers come into the tournament as the number two seed. The Pioneers seek their fourth NEC title, to go along with rings from the past two years and 2006.
Back in the Tournament...The Pioneers return to the NEC Tournament for the fifth straight season, reaching the championship game in each of the past four years.
These Guys, Again?...Sacred heart will take on the third seeded Monmouth Hawks on Thursday afternoon. SHU has defeated Monmouth in the NEC Championship game the past two seasons. Earlier this season, Monmouth took down SHU three out of four games in West Long Branch. Projected starters Troy Scribner (Washington Depot, CT) and Andrew McGee both pitched ten innings in a classic 12 inning game one in which SHU won 3-2. Monmouth handily took care of Sacred Heart the rest of the weekend, winning 6-3, 18-4, and 11-6.
Pitching In...The Pioneers have received complete game performances the past two Northeast Conference Tournaments from senior Troy Scribner junior Nick Leiningen (Millwood, NY), and junior Kody Kerski (Waterbury, CT) to secure back-to-back championships. All three pitchers return this year and have had great seasons to date. Sophomore lefty Jeff Stoddard (Branford, CT) has joined the trio to create an impressive set of arms for Head Coach Nick Giaquinto. Stoddard is currently tied for the league lead with 8 wins and leads Sacred Heart with a 2.38 earned run average in 72.2 innings. Scribner has had a tremendous season, leading the team in innings pitched and leading the conference with 80 strikeouts. Scribner is second in the SHU history books in both strikeouts and innings pitched.
Finishing Strong and Making History...The Pioneers closed their season going 12-1, including tying a program record with 12 consecutive wins before falling in the final game of the regular season to Columbia. During the 12 game win streak, SHU swept Mount St. Mary's, Fairleigh Dickinson, and Niagara. The Pioneers also beat Stony Brook. Sacred Heart's 32 regular season wins is the most in program history.