The Central Connecticut baseball season came to an end on Saturday afternoon with a 2-0 loss to Sacred Heart in a Northeast Conference Tournament elimination game at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, CT. The Blue Devils had beaten the Pioneers on Thursday, but then dropped games to Bryant on Friday and then SHU on Saturday to be eliminated from the tournament.
With the loss Central finishes the season 27-22 overall. SHU is now 29-27 and moves on to play Bryant in the second game of the day on Saturday.
Freshman right hander Matt Blandino was solid on the mount for the Blue Devils. He pitched all eight innings allowing just six hits and two earned runs, both coming in the eighth inning. He struck out two and walked one.
Central had several chances to score in the game. The Blue Devils loaded the bases in the top of the third inning but Sacred Heart starter Nick Morrissey got out of it unscathed. SHU catcher Derick Horn picked off a runner at third base and then a fly out from Central freshman Franklin Jennings ended the threat.
Central stranded a runner at third in the top of the fourth inning. Senior Anthony Turgeon singled and went to second on the 10th sacrifice bunt of the season from classmate Josh Ingham. He went to third on a wild pitch but two straight strikeouts ended the inning.
In the fifth inning Central put the first two runners on base but then hit into a doubleplay followed by the sixth strikeout of the game from Morrissey.
The Pioneers scored the game's only runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Keith Klebart led off the inning with a double and went to third on a sacrifice. He scored on an RBI double from Kenny Byram off of Blandino. SHU's Zack Short's RBI single made it 2-0.
The Blue Devils end the season with a 27-22 overall record. SHU will face Bryant and will need to win twice to claim the NEC title.