WEST HARTFORD, Conn – Sacred Heart's five run first inning was not enough Tuesday afternoon as the Hartford Hawks tied the game in the sixth and then walked off for a 7-6 win in the twelfth inning Tuesday afternoon at Fiondella Field. The Pioneers fall to 14-10 on the season.
Both Dan Wertz (Cross River, NY) and James Cooksey (Norwalk, CT) pitched well out of the bullpen, throwing 4.2 scoreless innings. Cooksey did not allow a hit in three innings of work. Senior Nick Leiningen (Millwood, NY) earned the loss, giving up the game-winning run after pitching 2.2 innings out of the pen.
Offensively, junior outfielder Matt Charmello (Rossmoor, CA) went four-for-four with three RBI and two runs scored.
The Pioneers jumped all over Hartford in the top of the first inning. After Zack Short (Hurley, NY), Jayson Sullivan (Charlton, NY) Keith Klebart (Orange, CT) all initiated walks, senior captain Derick Horn (Valatie, NY) came up with a two-out base knock to give SHU a 2-0 lead. Next batter, Charmello started his terrific afternoon with a two-out three-run home run down the left field line.
Hartford battled back in the second inning, cutting into the SHU lead. David MacKinnon and John Larossa knocked back-to-back RBI singles, while McKinnon came around to score on a Brian Estevez fielder's choice to cut the Pioneer lead to 5-3 after two.
The Pioneers added another run in the fourth inning, with Charmello once again in on the action. This time, the Californian came around to score on a Ted Shaw (Southington, CT) base knock up the middle. Charmello led off the inning with a double to right-center field.
Hartford once again came storming back in the sixth inning, loading the bases with one out with a base hit, a walk, and a hit by pitch. After a Chris DelDebbio sacrifice fly scored one run, McKinnon hit a single to left field to tie the game up at six.
After the Pioneers were not able to score in three extra frames, the Hawks struck with two outs in the 12th. Following a two-out single by Adam Touhey, Brady Sheets smacked a double to left-center field to send the Hawks home with the victory.
The Pioneers had runners on first and third with one out in the top of the ninth but were unable to put one across. SHU left eight runners on base.
The Pioneers will be back in action this coming weekend with a four-game series against the NJIT Highlanders. SHU and NJIT will play two in Jersey on Saturday and then two more in Bridgeport on Sunday.