March 19, 2010

Baseball Loses To Fairfield, 3-2, In 10 Innings

Photos of QU @ Fairfield

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Mike Oskandy (Bethel, Conn.) threw nine strong innings for the Quinnipiac University baseball team, but the Bobcats gave up a lead in the ninth inning before losing in the bottom of the 10th, 3-2, to Fairfield in a non-conference game played at Alumni Diamond in Fairfield, Conn. The loss leaves Quinnipiac still searching for its first win of the season at 0-10 while Fairfield improves to 6-4.

Quinnipiac took an early lead when Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.) walked to lead off the second inning. After Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) flew out to center field and Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) popped up to short, Monack took off for second, stealing his first base of the season. Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) then lined an offering from Fairfield starter Gavin McCullough's foot, sending the ball to right field and allowing Monack to score from second. Guerino finished the day with three singles, while Nisson was also 3-for-5 with an RBI.

Oskandy was dominant for most of the game, pitching out of several jams over nine innings. The fifth-year hurler retired nine of the first 11 batters he faced heading into the fourth inning before a one-out double by Jason Rago resulted in Fairfield's first, and only earned, run of the afternoon. Rago tied the game on a single up the middle by Anthony Hajjar.

The Bobcats were quick to respond in the fifth inning when Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) hit his first homerun of the season, and 10th of his career, over the left field wall just under the scoreboard at Alumni Diamond. Farina was 3-for-4 for the afternoon.

From there, it was a pitching duel as both Oskandy and McCullough were dealing. After Oskandy struck-out the side in the sixth inning, Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) walked with one out before Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) went down swinging. Farina delivered with a two-out single down the left field line, moving Amanti to second. After McCullough walked Monack to load the bases with two outs, he was lifted in favor of Rick Piccirillo. Piccirillo got Poletsky to hit a ground ball back to the mound, retiring Amanti at the plate to end the Bobcats' threat.

In the eighth inning, it was Fairfield's turn to put on the pressure. Oskandy walked Ryan Furbeck to start the inning, before Tucker Nathans reached on a bunt single when the throw drew second baseman Alex Soucy off the bag at first. With the tying running sitting on second, Oskandy struck out Rago on a breaking pitch, away, before getting Hajjar to ground into a double play to second.

In the Bobcats' ninth, Ryan Ullrich (Woodbridge, Conn.), who entered the game in the 8th as a defensive replacement, ripped a two-out single to center field before stealing second. After Farina drew a walk, he was retired on a ground ball to second.

In the bottom half of the inning, Oskandy walked Carmine DeVito to start the inning before David Dudish sacrificed him over to second. Marco Garamella then hit a ground ball to first base, moving DeVito to third with the tying run. Chris Horning then rifled an Oskandy-offering to short, where a tough hop resulted in an error, allowing DeVito to score and tie the game.

The Bobcats threatened again in the 10th inning after Mark Bordonaro relieved Piccirillo. Piccirillo held Quinnipiac to one hit over 2 1/3 innings. Bordonaro retired the first batter he faced before giving up consecutive hits to Guerino and Nisson. A pair of ground balls allowed Fairfield to escape without giving up a run.

In the bottom of the 10th, Quinnipiac freshman Derek Lamacchia (Whitestone, N.Y.) came on in relief of Oskandy. Lamacchia walked Furbeck, who then moved to second base on a passed ball. Nathans then delivered the game-winning RBI with a drive to left-center field that allowed Furbeck to score from second base.

Quinnipiac will look to rebound this weekend when they take on the College of Holy Cross in a two-game series. The Bobcats will head to Worcester, Mass. on Saturday, March 20 at 12 p.m. before hosting the Crusaders in Quinnipiac's 2010 home-opener at 12 p.m. at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field.