Baseball Begins Homestretch with Trip to Wagner

FAIRFIELD, Conn - With just two weekends left in the regular season, the Sacred Heart Pioneers head to Staten Island this weekend for a four-game series with the Wagner Seahawks. The Pioneers currently sit tied with Central Connecticut State for second place in the Northeast Conference.  SHU and CCSU both have 9-7 conference records, while Wagner currently resides in fifth place with a record of 7-9.

Sacred Heart is coming off a successful weekend at Bryant, in which they split a four-game series with the Bulldogs. Bryant had won ten consecutive games, including the series opener on Friday, before SHU was able to sweep the Saturday doubleheader, with 10-6 and 10-3 wins. It was the first time since February that Bryant had lost consecutive games.  The Bulldogs rebounded on Sunday with a 7-6 win. The Pioneers nearly came all the way back from a 7-0 deficit.

Freshman Zack Short (Hurley, NY) earned his second NEC Rookie of the Week award after going 8-for-13 with five RBI in the final three games of the Bryant series. Short knocked seven hits and four RBI in the Pioneers sweep on Saturday. Short currently leads the team with 50 hits and a .432 on-base percentage. Playing in all 44 games for the Pioneers, Short is batting .326 with 33 runs scored and 19 RBI.

On the mound, junior James Cooksey (Norwalk, CT) and freshman Jason Foley (North Bellmore, NY) both had great weekends for SHU. In game one of the Saturday sweep, Cooksey pitched 5.2 innings of one hit ball out of the bullpen to earn his second win of the season. Cooksey dazzled the bulldogs and now leads the NEC with a 1.29 earned run average in 42 innings pitched. Foley notched the win in game two of the doubleheader, allowing just three runs in 6.1 innings of action. Foley is now 3-2 with a 2.59 ERA in his rookie season.

Another notable performance from the split at Bryant was from junior designated hitter, Matt Charmello (Rossmoor, CA). Charmello knocked in a combined six runs in the two games on Saturday, including a team-high five RBI in game one. The California-native drilled a clutch two-out, base loaded triple in the sixth inning of game one to put SHU ahead 8-6. Charmello is batting .316 with 15 RBI in 57 at-bats this season.

Wagner comes into the weekend having split a four-game series with the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers last week. The Seahawks were victorious in each nine-inning game, while being swept in the Saturday doubleheader. Wagner has been led offensively by senior outfielder Chris Smith and freshman infielder, Nick Mascelli. Smith is batting a team-high .312, while Mascelli leads the Seahawks with 51 hits. Combined this season, the duo has drove in 29 runs and scored 46 more. On the mound for Wagner, Ryan Casey has paced the Seahawks as the ace of the staff. Casey holds a 3-2 record with a 3.30 ERA in 62.2 innings.

 

Probable Pitching Match-ups:

 

Friday: Kody Kerski v. Ryan Casey

Saturday (Game one): Nick Morrissey v. Matt Morris

Saturday (Game two): Jason Foley v. Nolan Long

Sunday: Jeff Stoddard v. Danny Marsh

 

NEC Standings:

 
  1. Bryant 13-3
  2. Sacred Heart 9-7
  3. CCSU 9-7
  4. LIU Brooklyn 10-10
  5. Wagner 7-9
  6. Mount St. Mary's 8-12
  7. Fairleigh Dickinson 4-12

 

SHU in the NEC Statistics…

Team Batting Average - .265 (3rd)

Team ERA – 3.16 (1st)

Team Fielding Percentage - .970 (2nd)

Zack Short - .326 BA (8th)

                        32 Runs scored (6th)

                        27 Walks (3rd)

                        .437 OB % (3rd)

Kody Kerski – 1.74 ERA (2nd)

                        59 strikeouts (2nd)

                        7 Wins (t-2nd)

                        67.1 innings pitched (2nd)

James Cooksey – 1.29 ERA (1st)