Consider this among the most bizarre innings in Northeast Conference baseball history:
On Sunday in Hamden, Quinnipiac led Central Connecticut 10-2 after four innings and 10-3 through eight. Central scored nine runs in the top of the ninth to take a two-run lead, a rally highlighted by Dylan DelaCruz's grand slam to make it 12-10.
In the bottom of the ninth, Quinnipiac's Mike Blumenthal hit what would have been a game-winning three-run homer -- but he was called out after passing the runner on first base.
The two runs counted, leaving the game tied. DelaCruz drove in the winning run in the 10th on a sacrifice fly, giving Central a 13-12 victory, the 499th of coach Charlie Hickey's career.
DelaCruz, a junior outfielder from East Lyme, was named
Central (24-24, 13-15) has an outside chance at making the NEC tournament, needing a four-game sweep over Mount St. Mary's AND Wagner to lose four to Bryant AND
Hickey is 499-384-4 in 17 seasons. He was 106-61 in three seasons at Providence and is 393-323-4 in 14 at Central.