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Baseball Struggles Against Sacred Heart

by Patrick Gustavson

The struggles for Central Connecticut’s baseball team continued this past weekend when they dropped three of four games to Northeast Conference opponent Sacred Heart.

The week did not go as planned, with their Tuesday contest against Quinnipiac being canceled due to rain. The series opener against Sacred Heart on Friday was postponed due to snow, which set the two teams up for back-to-back doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.

The Blue Devils dropped the first set of the doubleheader on Saturday by a score of 9-5.

After scoring just one run in three of their last four games, the five runs were a step in the right direction. Five different Blue Devils drove in a run in the game, with the main contributor being freshman designated hitter Jake Siracusa, who had three hits on the day.

Fellow freshman Jeremy Sagun also had one of his most productive games offensively, reaching base safely in three of his four plate appearances.

Brandon Fox got the start, and threw a solid five innings, yielding just two runs (one earned). However, Arik Sypher and Matt Shane allotted seven runs in the next two innings, headlined by a grand slam by Elijah Brown in the seventh, off of Shane.

The team was able to bounce back and take the second game by a score of 7-4 in seven innings. Sophomore third baseman Buddy Dewaine had three runs batted in.

Senior Kyle Anderson got his first start of the season, tossing 3.2 innings, giving up two runs (one earned), while striking out two. Andrew Braun threw a near-spotless 1.1 innings in relief.

Though the Pioneers threatened in the bottom of the seventh following a two-run home run by Isiah Daubon, the Blue Devils were able to hang on.

As for the first game on Sunday, two-run top of the sixth inning tied had the game tied at three, but the Pioneers scored three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. The Blue Devils managed to score on the top of the seventh but were ultimately halted, losing the game 6-4.

The second game of the doubleheader was a rollercoaster ride for both squads. After carrying a 1-0 lead into the fourth inning, CCSU surrendered five runs to the Pioneers in the fourth and fifth innings, leaving the team deflated.

However, they turned it around in the sixth by putting up a five-spot of their own, thanks to five straight hits and a two-run home run from both Nick Garland and Chris Kanios. The Blue Devils continued to chip away in the seventh, scoring three more runs, taking the lead.

It was at this time when head coach Charlie Hickey believed his team was about to “steal the win.”

But the eighth inning spelled disaster for the team, as the Pioneers scored 12 runs on 12 hits, including a string of seven consecutive at one point.

All five Blue Devil pitchers in the game yielded at least two earned runs.

“Injuries have put us in a spot where guys are having to throw back-to-back days,” Hickey said.

Hickey also cited misplayed defensive alignments and poor pitch locations as the reason for their collapse.

The team, now sitting at 5-5 in the NEC, will now take on Wagner in a crucial four-game series next weekend. Hickey called the Seahawks “the best team we’ll [the team] have faced this season.”