On Tuesday, April 26 the Stags hosted cross-town rival Sacred Heart University in hopes of capturing their fourth consecutive win. After tying the game at four in the bottom of the sixth inning, Fairfield struck once again in the bottom half of the 13th inning to win the game as Kevin Radziewicz ‘18 knocked in a walk off RBI single to give Fairfield the 5-4 win.
The Pioneers jumped out early in the first inning when they scored the game’s first run to give them the early advantage. Fairfield answered right back in the bottom half of the first, scoring two runs on three hits to give them the 2-1 edge.
After two quiet innings, Sacred Heart erupted for three runs in the fourth inning to force Fairfield’s starting pitcher Ryan O’Connor ‘17 out of the game after 3 innings of work. In came Jake Binder ‘19 out of the bullpen, with a runner in scoring position, as he would get the next Pioneer out to end the inning as the Stags trailed 4-3.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Stags would load the bases as Mac Crispino ‘17 singled, followed by a walk from Troy Scocca ‘17 and finally another single by Jack Gethings ‘19. Freshman Tim Zeng came in the game to pitch hit for Dan Hopkins ‘17 and worked a walk to force in a run to tie the game for the Stags at 4.
Having an opportunity to add some insurance runs, Michael Conti ‘17 stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded, but unfortunately for the Stags, Conti would ground into an inning ending double play.
The next couple of innings were a display of great pitching from both teams, especially from Fairfield’s bullpen. The Stags used five different pitchers out of the bullpen, as none of the Stag relievers allowed a single run through nine innings of work. When asked about the work of his bullpen, head coach Bill Currier said, “our pitchers took charge of the game, everybody we rolled out there did a pretty good job. We’re pretty happy with that, a lot of them were freshmen other than the last kid. We’re happy about that, having them hold us right in the game.”
The rest of the game would be a pitching duel between both pitching staffs, as neither team allowed a run. The Pioneers came close in the 10th inning, when they got a runner to third base with just one out. The next batter flew out to centerfielder Drew Arcuilo ‘18, who threw a bullet to home to get the runner out at the plate for an inning ending double play.
Before the start of the 13th inning, the umpires made the decision that that inning would be the last one due to the darkness on the field. After the Pioneers went down easily, the Stags had one final opportunity to win the game and they did just that.
Conti lead the inning with a single to right field. The next batter, Arcuilo laid down a sacrifice bunt, but reached first base due to a throwing error by the pitcher. Now with no outs and a runner in scoring position, Radziewicz was called upon.
“I was just trying to barrel up a ball because I knew the infield was in and anything hit hard was going to get through and win us the game,” said Radziewicz of his mindset coming up to the plate.
Radziewicz singled to left just over the third baseman to push in the winning run as the Stags walked off to victory 5-4. “Radziewicz has been a clutch hitter for us most of the season, it was good he got a second opportunity with a guy on third base, it was good he came through,” said Currier.
The Stags will be back in action on Saturday, April 30 when they host Manhattan College for a double-header at Alumni Diamond.