April 10, 2009

Baseball Swept By Wagner In NEC Doubleheader, 2-0 and 7-6

HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University baseball team was swept by Wagner on Friday in a Northeast Conference doubleheader at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field in Hamden, Conn. A day after the Bobcats took the first two games of the series on Thursday, Wagner responded with 2-0 and 7-6 wins on the second day of the series. Quinnipiac drops to 9-19 overall and 2-6 in the NEC while Wagner pulls even at 13-13 overall and 4-4 in conference play.

Mike Oskandy (Bethel, Conn.) took the loss for the Bobcats to drop to 1-5 on the season. Quinnipiac was held to just four hits in seven innings. Reliever Anthony Cinelli (Wall, N.J.) took the loss for Quinnipiac in the second game after giving up two runs on three hits, both coming in the eighth inning, without recording and out. Senior catcher Michael Marmo (Brookville, N.Y.) collected a team-high three hits in the doubleheader. Freshman Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) hit his second homerun of the season in the second game of the doubleheader.

In the first game, Wagner's Joe Conforti put the Seahawks on the board first when he lined a double to right field to start second inning. Conforti scored on a bloop single to center field by Joe Jamison as Wagner took a 1-0 lead. After Jamison was thrown out attempting to steal second base, Brian Martutartus singled to left-center field. He scored on a double to Damien Csakai to right-center field. The ball was tracked down by Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.), but the gold-gloved centerfield couldn't make the play, allowing Martutartus to score to give Wagner a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth, Wagner's Matt Watson got Ryan Ullrich (Orange, Conn.) to ground out to first before walking Jeff Carino (Greenwich, Conn.). Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) followed with a chopper to third base, and beat the throw to first base. With a 2-and-2 count, Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) hit into a double play to end the Quinnipiac threat.

Oskandy scattered seven hits over six innings, while giving up two runs and striking out four. He gave up two runs in the second inning, but was able to pitch-out of jams in the fourth and fifth innings before sitting down the Seahawks 1-2-3 in the sixth. After giving up a lead-off single to Martutartus on the first pitch of the seventh inning, Oskandy was lifted in favor of Cinelli.

Csakai dropped down a sacrifice bunt on the first offering from Cinelli as Martutartus advanced to third on the play. He then got Jared Gruccio to ground out to short with his second pitch of the inning. Cinelli then struck out Vin Avella looking to end the inning.

Andrew Huebner relieved Watson in the bottom of the seventh. Watson held Quinnipiac scoreless over six innings, giving up three hits and walking three. Huebner gave up a lead-off hit to Marmo as he dropped a fly ball down the right field line. Huebner then got Guerino to hit into a double play with a fastball in on the big first baseman's hands with a full count, retiring Marmo at second.

In the second game, Guerino blasted his second homerun of the season in the bottom of the second inning with a towering shot to right-center field as Quinnipiac took a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth inning, Wagner's Seth Boyd and Chris Drechsel led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Joe Conforti then dropped down a bunt, reaching on a fielder's choice as Duffy threw out Boyd at third on the play. Jamison then followed with a single to left field that scored Drechsel from second base to tie the game, 1-1. Duffy then got Martutartus to foul out down the right field line and Csakai to fly out to center field to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Monack led off the inning with a line drive down the left field line for a double. Marmo lined a single through the left side of the infield for a single, moving Monack to third for Guerino. Guerino hit into a double play, but not before Monack scored the go-ahead run to give Quinnipiac a 2-1 lead.

In the top of the 6th, Drechsel led off the inning with a single before he stole second and advanced to third on an error on the throw by Marmo. Drechsel scored on a single by Jamison to tie the game at 2-2 heading to the bottom of the sixth.

In the top of the seventh, Jared Gruccio singled to left field to lead off the inning. He would go from first to third when, after he broke for second base, Matt Logan rifled a single through the left side of the infield where Migani would have been playing for the double play but was vacated with Gruccio attempting to steal second. Boyd then followed with a homerun to deep right field to score both runners and give Wagner a 5-2 lead.

The three-run homer ended the day for Duffy, who allowed five runs on 10 hits over 6 1/3 while striking out six. He was relieved by Cinelli, who entered the game with the Bobcats trailing 5-2.

In the bottom of the seventh, Jeff Carino (Greenwich,Conn.) and Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) connected on back-to-back hits with two outs in the inning. Farina then drove the ball the opposite way, to right field. The ball dropped in for a double allowing Carino and Amanti to score to cut into the Seahawks' lead, 5-4. Ryan Ullrich (Woodbridge, Conn.) then lined a 2-and-2 offering from Wagner starter Mark Holmes to right-cent field to score Farina and tie the game, 5-5.

In the top of the eighth inning, Cinelli was able to get ahead of the first two batters he faced, Martutartus and Csakai, but gave up back-to-back hits on 0-and-2 counts. Csakai's single to right-center scored Martutartus with the go-ahead run, give Wagner a 6-5 lead. Gruccio's chopper through the infield scored Martutartus to give the Seahawks a 7-5 lead. The hit ended Cinelli's day who allowed two runs on three hits over 2/3 of an inning pitched. He was relieved in favor of junior Todd DeFrancesco (North Haven, Conn.).

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Farina doubled down the left field line with one out and moved to third on a wild pitch. He scored on a fly ball, with two outs, by Migani that dropped just inside the right field line as Quinnipiac pulled within a run, 7-6, with two outs in the ninth. After Doyle walked to put runners on first and second, John Simone (Setauket, N.Y.) checked into the game as a pinch runner for Doyle. During the next at-bat, Huebner bounced a pitch in front of the plate, sending Migani to third, while Simone was thrown out attempting to move to second base to end the game.

Quinnipiac returns to action on Tuesday, April 14 when they travel to Kingston, R.I. to take on the University of Rhode Island in a non-conference game set for a 3:30 p.m. start. The Bobcats will return home next weekend when they in-state rival Central Connecticut State University in a four-game Northeast Conference series on Friday, April 17 through Sunday, April 19.