BY STEFAN AYANIAN
The Sacred Heart University baseball team opened up their 2019 season in Winston Salem, N.C., from Feb. 15-17. They faced the 20th-ranked team in the nation, Wake Forest University, Georgetown University and Illinois University.
The Pioneers went 1-2 in the weekend, with their one win coming against Georgetown, which was also in walk-off fashion. Sophomore outfielder Isiah Daubon, hit a walk-off groundout to complete a comeback victory. The team was down 5-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, and proceeded to score five unanswered runs to eventually win it in the bottom of the ninth.
“We showed some resiliency when we were down four runs late in the game against Georgetown,” said head coach Nick Restaino. “Good teams answer late and I liked that we came back and won.”
Restaino has confidence in his players that they can compete at a higher level as the season progresses.
Junior pitcher Austin Markmann was impressed with the team’s effort they put on at the plate during that weekend series.
“Offensively, I think we were able to string together a few good at-bats in order to manufacture a few runs late in the game,” said Markmann. “Personally, I think we have a good group of guys this year who are all pulling on the same rope.”
Restaino said that the team’s chemistry changes each year as players come and go. He believes that new chemistry develops and strengthens under heat and pressure.
“We’re ready to play better baseball and I hope for some good weather,” said Restaino.
After the season-opening series, the team traveled down to Williamsburg, Va., to take on William & Mary in a three-game series from Feb. 22-24. They won the first game, 7-3, as the pitching staff allowed one earned run through nine innings of work. The second game was initially postponed and then was eventually canceled due to inclement weather. The series ended with Sacred Heart dropping the other game, 12-3.
Sacred Heart was supposed to play Fordham in the Bronx, N.Y., on Feb. 26, but that game also wound up getting postponed. The team has two games in DeLand, Fla., this upcoming weekend against Georgetown and Saint Louis respectively.