FAIRFIELD, Conn.— The Sacred Heart baseball team bested crosstown rival Fairfield, 8-5 on Wednesday afternoon. The Pioneers (12-23) capitalized on four miscues by the Stags (18-15) to take the non-conference matchup at Alumni Diamond.
Freshman Stephen Thibault had a stellar afternoon at the plate for SHU going 2-for-3 with a RBI sacrifice bunt and two extra base hits. Junior Alex Perry also had two hits on the day including his fourth triple of the season. Redshirt junior PJ DeFilippo recorded his fifth straight multi-hit game with his 2-for-4 afternoon at the dish. Senior Keith Klebart drove home two runs to become the first Pioneer to reach 20 RBI on the season.
The Stags got off to a hot start with runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the first, Kevin Radziewicz doubled home the first run of the game. Troy Scocca doubled down the right field line to score Radziewicz to take the 2-0 lead.
The Pioneers rallied in the top of the third inning as Thibault went first pitch swinging against David Sacco and smacked a double down the left field line to lead things off. After freshman Elijah Brown walked, Perry laid down the sacrifice bunt and an error by Sacco on the throw to score Thibault from second and put Brown at third. Junior Anthony Capozziello scored Brown with his RBI sacrifice fly to left field to tie the game at 2-2. Klebart picked up the RBI ground out to give SHU the lead, 3-2.
SHU continued to hit in the fourth as freshman Austin Markmann opened the inning with a single to right field. He would advance to second on an error by Peter Horn on the pickoff attempt. DeFilippo then put a single through the left side to place runners on the corners. Horn would pick up a strikeout before Thibault laid down the suicide squeeze to score Markmann. The Pioneers then loaded the bases as Brown walked and Perry was hit by a pitch. Capozziello pushed the lead to four as he reached by an error by the first baseman Mitch Williams to bring in DeFilippo from third.
Thibault continued his impressive afternoon as he picked up his first career triple with a shot down the right field line to lead off the top of the sixth inning. Perry drove him home with his triple down the right field line two batters later to give SHU the 7-2 lead. Klebart picked up his second RBI of the afternoon with his RBI single to shortstop to push the lead to 8-2.
Fairfield finally answered with a RBI single from Michael Conti in the bottom of the sixth. The Pioneers held the Stags offense in check but the home team looked to rally in the ninth as Scocca picked up a two RBI single up the middle to bring the score to 8-5. Sophomore Brent Teller closed things out with a fielder's choice to Tom Ryan to end the game.
It was a combined effort by the Pioneers pitching staff as ten pitchers saw action in the mid-week contest with six Pioneers recording scoreless frames. Senior John Sostarich recorded his third win of the season as pitched an inning and two thirds of relief, allowing no hits and striking out two.
The Pioneers host NEC opponent, Wagner for a four-game series beginning Friday, April 21 at 3:00 p.m.