STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.— The Sacred Heart University baseball team dropped the series opener to Wagner College, 4-1 on Thursday afternoon. The Seahawks (34-16, 19-7 NEC) used a three-run second to jump ahead before fending off the Pioneers (17-33, 12-14 NEC) late charge at Richmond County Ballpark.
The Seahawks opened the scoring in the second inning with a one-out two-run double by Joe Silverstrone for the 2-0 lead. Wagner worked the bases loaded with two outs before Sean Mazzio recorded the RBI single to the gap at shortstop to bring the score to 3-0.
SHU was unable to solve Seahawks starter Eric Ligda who surrendered just one hit over six innings of work as senior Anthony Capozziello recorded the lone knock in the fifth. Wagner added its final run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a double steal with two outs as an errant throw to third allowed Mazzio to score for the 4-0 lead.
The Pioneers were looking to put together a rally in the eighth as Capozziello and freshman Isiah Daubon recorded back-to-back singles to start things off. Capozziello swiped third to put runners on the corners and scored on a RBI fielder's choice by sophomore Austin Markmann. SHU earned back-to-back walks to put the tying run on base with two outs. Kory Bishop got co-captain PJ DeFilippo out in front for the force out at second base to escape the inning.
The top of the ninth proved to be similar to the previous inning for SHU as senior Dan Schock led off the inning with a double to right field followed by a walk by junior Kyle Oliver. The Seahawks made the call to Brad Currao out of the pen as he got Capozziello to fly out to right, Schock advanced to third on the tag. The right-hander rung up the final two batters to end the game.
Junior Brent Teller took the hill to start for SHU pitching seven frames in the loss. He surrendered three earned runs on seven hits while striking out six. Junior Baylor Sundahl pitched a one, two, three eighth in relief.
The Pioneers conclude the regular season tomorrow with a doubleheader against the Seahawks beginning at noon. The postseason fate for the fourth and final NEC Tournament berth for SHU is contingent on a pair of victories in tomorrow's doubleheader and a pair of losses by LIU Brooklyn in a doubleheader against FDU.