BROOKLYN, NY – For the second consecutive day, the Sacred Heart baseball team swept a doubleheader from Cornell, this time at MCU Park on Coney Island. The Pioneers completed a four game sweep of the Big Red and improve to 9-8 on the season.
Senior captain Nick Leiningen (Millwood, NY) earned the win in game one of the afternoon, giving up two runs in seven innings, while striking out six. Junior right-hander James Cooksey (Norwalk, CT) pitched two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Cornell jumped out to an early lead in the fourth inning when Chris Cruz singled to right field to score JD Whetsel. Whetsel led off the inning with a base hit to right field. Leiningen got back-to-back strikeouts to end the Big Red scoring threat.
The Pioneers stormed back in the bottom of the inning. Senior Keaton Flint (Charlton, NY) knocked the Pioneers first big hit with a single through the left side of the infield to score freshman Keith Klebart (Orange, CT) and senior Conor McEvoy (Watertown, CT). Freshman Ted Shaw (Southington, CT) kept the rally going with a RBI single to right field. Next batter, Kenny Byram (Ponte Vedra, FL), knocked a single to score Flint and then Shaw scored on a Cornell error to give SHU a 5-2 lead. Sophomore Jesus Medina (New York, NY) capped off the rally with a single to center field to score Byram and give SHU a 6-2 lead.
Sacred Heart added an additional insurance run in the seventh when Zack Short initiated a walk with the bases loaded to score Shaw.
Out of the bullpen, Cooksey immediately got a double play in the eighth and then retired the final four batters of the game to close the door on the Big Red.
In game two, Freshman Jason Foley (North Bellmore, NY) pitched a magnificent 6.2 innings, allowing just the one run on five hits to get the second win of his young career. Junior Nick Morrissey (Howell, NJ) came out of the bullpen to register the final out of the game after Cornell was threatening with men on first and second.
Sacred Heart did all their damage in the bottom of the first inning with Conor McEvoy lining a pitch off Cornell pitcher Connor Kaufmann to score Zack Short and sophomore Victor Sorrento (Monroe Township, NJ). Short came around to score all the way from second base on a ball that stayed in the infield.
The Big Red made it interesting in the seventh inning with a two-out walk to Ryan Karl to start things off. Matt Hall followed with a base hit to right center to send Karl to third base. Swinford continued the rally with a base knock to left field to put Cornell within one run. With the tying run now on second base, Morrissey got Frankie Padulo to fly out to right field to end the game.
The Pioneers are scheduled for a mid-week game against the Stony Brook Seawolves on Wednesday afternoon at Harbor Yard.