Fairfield, Conn - The Sacred Heart baseball team will begin Northeast Conference play this weekend with a four-game series at Fairleigh Dickinson. The Pioneers went 23-9 in the NEC last season before falling to Bryant in the conference championship game last Spring.
The Pioneers head to FDU having won five of their last six games, and looking for their fourth series win of the season. SHU has series victories over Tulane, Fordham, and Cornell, while also a single game win over Big East member St. John's.
Sacred Heart (10-9, 0-0) has been led by right-handed ace, Kody Kerski (Waterbury, CT), who is 4-0 this season and has allowed just a single earned run. Kerski's lone run against came in his opening start of the season and his 0.27 ERA currently ranks third in the country. Kerski has wins over Tulane, Southeastern Louisiana, Cornell, and St. Johns.
On offense, a few youngsters have taken center stage for Coach Giaquinto. Freshman Zack Short (Hurley, NY) and sophomore Jayson Sullivan (Charlton, NY) lead the Pioneers with 23 hits, while Short leads the team with a .438 on-base percentage. Sullivan has team-highs in RBI (11), home runs (2), and doubles (4). Another freshman, Keith Klebart (Orange, CT) has been solid at the plate as well, hitting .320 with eight RBI.
The Pioneers have claimed five NEC weekly awards so far this season, winning atleast one honor each week. Last season, the Pioneers swept a four-game series against Fairleigh Dickinson at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Kerski, Jeff Stoddard (Branford, CT), and Nick Leiningen (Millwood, NY) all notched wins in the series.
Fairleigh Dickinson is 6-11 so far this season and comes into the weekend on a four game losing streak. Third baseman and Connecticut-native Joel Roman has led the way for FDU with a .333 batting average and 12 RBI. On the mound, Nick Cuono has paved the way with a 2.75 ERA in 19.2 innings. Last season, the Knights went 12-36 overall and 7-25 in the NEC.
The Pioneers and Knights begin the four game set tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 pm.
Probable Pitching Match-ups:
Friday, 3:00 pm: Kody Kerski v. Nick Cuono
Saturday, 1:00 pm (Game one): Jeff Stoddard v. Joe Flack
Saturday , 3:00 pm (Game two): Jason Foley (North Bellmore, NY) v. TBD
Sunday, 1:00 pm: Nick Leiningen v. John Chalupa