Eight-run Eighth Powers Baseball To Win Over LaSalle

Jake Frasca had three RBI in the Pioneers game versus PFW on Sunday.
Jake Frasca had three RBI in the Pioneers game versus PFW on Sunday.

The Sacred Heart University baseball team remained unbeaten in North Carolina, using an eight-run eighth inning to edge La Salle 10-9 on Saturday afternoon at Couch Ballpark in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Pioneers return to action on Sunday morning for the first of two games scheduled against their North Carolina host Wake Forest. First pitch in the afternoon battle is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

Pitching Lines

  • The Pioneers relied on four pitchers against La Salle, while the Explorers used a staff of five.
  • Luke Hansen earned his first start on the bump and was tagged with six runs, five of them earned, on eight hits and a walk. He also struck out a staff-best four batters.
  • Early relief came from Michael Attonito who threw 1.2 innings and was tagged with three runs, two earned, on a hit and two walks.
  • The Pioneers final two relievers threw a total of three scoreless innings to close out the game.
  • Earning the victory on the hill was Nick Jaskolski, his first decision as a Pioneer. He would pitch a total of four outs, allowing one hit.
  • Earning his first save of the year, second of the season for the Pioneers, was David Aufiero who threw a total of five outs, allowing a single hit. He also struck out one batter.
  • Suffering the loss for La Salle was reliever Jordan Morales who gave up the game-winning run as his only run allowed in 1.1 innings of work.

At the Plate

  • The Pioneers scattered 15 hits across the Explorers five pitchers.
  • Leading the way at the plate was third baseman Jake Frasca who finished 3-for-5 at the plate with three RBI and three runs scored.
  • Among the highlights for Frasca was his first home run of the season, a three-run bomb in the top of the eighth inning that drove in the game-tying run while he crossed the plate as the eventual game-winning tally. Frasca would also add a double among his three hits.
  • Joining Frasca in leading the Pioneers with three hits was right fielder Joe Emerson who also drove in a run and scored one run.  
  • A total of five Pioneers finished with multiple hits on the day as centerfielder Justin Jordan, left fielder Kyle Oliver and designated hitter Sam Mongelli all finished with a pair of base knocks.
  • Following Frasca's team-best three RBI, five different players all knocked in at least one run.

How it Happened

  • La Salle would put the Pioneers on their heels right out of the games, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Both runs came on RBI singles, with Ryan Guckin and Jack Cucunotta providing the base knocks.
  • The Explorers kept adding to their tally with two runs in the third inning and four in the fifth inning. In the third, a solo home run from Elijah Dickerson started the scoring while Nick O'Day driving in the second run on a single through the left side.
  • The four run fifth inning for La Salle came with some assistance from Mother Nature as winds picked up in favor of the Explorers. The first run in the frame again came on a long ball from Dickerson while Connor Coolahan took advantage of a wind added ball down the right field line that cleared the bases and left him standing at third base.
  • Sacred Heart began to chip away at the lead with a pair of runs in the sixth inning. After Frasca followed up a double play with a double to right, he was brought home thanks to a second straight two-bagger with Oliver providing this double down the first base line to drive in Frasca.
  • Oliver had his hard work returned on the next at bat as Mongelli kept the two-out rally alive with an infield single that allowed Oliver to score thanks to a throwing error by the second baseman.
  • La Salle managed to take one of those runs back in their half of the sixth inning when Dylan Maria sacrificed himself for the good of the team, knocking in Tatem Levins for what turned out to be an unearned run.
  • Facing a seven-run deficit, the Pioneers rallied in the eighth, rattling off three hits among the first four batters, taking advantage of the Explorers pitching change. Mongelli started out the scoring when he followed up hits from Frasca and Oliver by sacrificing himself on a fly ball to right field that allowed Frasca to open up the scoring.
  • The scoring continued on the next at bat when Joe Emerson drove in Oliver on a double to left center.
  • Following a pinch hit single from Danny Glendon, La Salle would change pitchers for the second time in the inning only to have the first batter walk to load the bases for Elijah Brown. The first baseman was hit by a pitch which drove in the third run of the inning.
  • With the bases still loaded, pinch hitter Isiah Daubon singled through the right side to drive in Glendon and leave runners on the corners for Jordan who drove in Brown on a sacrifice fly to left.
  • After another single from Stephen Thibault left runners at first and second, La Salle would turn to its third pitcher in the inning to face Frasca who didn't let the change affect him, slamming his first home run of the year over the fence in left field clearing the bases and scoring the go-ahead run himself.
  • Aufiero returned to the mound to close out the game in the ninth, returning the Explorers in order to earn his first save of the season.