Baseball's Comeback Bid Falls Short To Holy Cross, 8-7

WORCESTER, Mass. - The Quinnipiac University baseball team dropped to 0-11 on the season with an 8-7 loss to Holy Cross at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass. The Crusaders improve to 3-7 on the year after taking a 7-4 lead after the first inning and holding off a late Quinnipiac push.

At the plate, Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) and Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) drove in five of the Bobcats' seven runs in the game, with Guerino's two-run single and Nisson's two-run double. Five different Bobcats recorded a hit, while Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) was the only Quinnipiac player with multiple hits. For his career, Amanti now has 93 career hits.

Amanti, a junior shortstop, wasted little time in starting the Bobcats' offense, ripping a single through the right side of the infield to lead-off the game. Holy Cross starter Bobby Holmes then walked three-straight Bobcats - Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.), Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) and Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.) - to force Amanti home with the game's first run. After Holmes retired Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.), Guerino, a lefthanded hitter, drove in Bartlett and Farina with a single down the leftfield line. Nisson then grounded out to short, allowing Monack to score and give Quinnipiac a 4-0 lead.

If the top of the first inning, was the perfect way to start a game, then the bottom half of the inning couldn't have started off worse for Quinnipiac. Starter Todd DeFrancesco (North Haven, Conn.) gave up a lead-off homerun to Brendan McCrea, before hitting John Sills with a pitch and walking Matt Perry. DeFrancesco managed to get Eric Oxford to bounce one back to the mound for the first out, before he walked Steve Tkowski to load the bases. Patrick Puentes then lined a DeFrancesco offering through the right side of the infield to score Perry and Sills and move Holy Cross to within a run, 4-3, of the Bobcats. After getting Chris Blanchard to ground-out, DeFrancesco walked Zack Burdeau to load the bases, again. Jack Laurendeau then hit his first homerun of the year, a towering grand slam, to right-center field to give Holy Cross a 7-3 lead.

From there, Holmes settled in, allowing two base runners over the next three inning. In the bottom of the third, Tkowski homered to lead off the inning for Holy Cross to give the Crusaders a four-run cushion, 8-4.

In the fifth inning, Holmes retired the first batter he saw before giving up a single to Monack and walking Poletsky and Guerino to load the bases. John Pedrotty came on in relief for Holy Cross, and immediately gave up a double to Nisson that scored Monack and Poletsky and pulled Quinnipiac to within two runs at 8-6. Jeff Carino's (Greenwich, Conn.) ground ball to second base scored Guerino and pulled Quinnipiac to within a run, 8-7.

Pedrotty would end up getting the win for Holy Cross after holding Quinnipiac scoreless on two hits over 3 1/3 innings pitched. Ryan George picked up his second save of the season after striking out three of the four batters he faced over 1 1/3 innings. For Quinnipiac, DeFrancesco goes to 0-3 after being credited with all eight earned runs over five innings. Anthony Cinelli (Wall, N.J.) pitched three scoreless innings in relief of DeFrancesco, scattering three hits.

The Bobcats will look to bounce-back on Sunday, March 21 when they host the Crusaders at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field in Hamden, Conn. at 12 p.m.