Baseball Splits NEC Doubleheader With Sacred Heart

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University baseball team snapped a five-game skid with an 8-2 win in the second game of a Northeast Conference Doubleheader against Sacred Heart at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn. The Pioneers took the first game of the twin-bill, 11-1. The Bobcats go to 2-17 overall and 2-5 in the NEC while Sacred Heart goes to 8-12 overall and 2-1 in league play.

In the first game, Sacred Heart starter Jared Ballbach improved to 3-2 on the season after holding Quinnipiac to one run over seven innings for the complete game win. Ballbach held Quinnipiac to just three hits in the first game, walking four and striking out six. For Quinnipiac, Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) accounted for the Bobcats only run in the game, with Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) driving him in, in the third inning.

In the second game, Kyle Birdsall (Orange, Conn.) picked up his first win of the season to improve to 1-2 as the Bobcats knocked-off Sacred Heart, 8-2. Birdsall scattered four hits, while giving up two earned runs, in the complete-game win. The junior righty struck-out six in the game, while walking two. Ryan Ullrich (Woodbridge, Conn.) was 2-for-3 with a run scored while Amanti drove in two runs. Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.), Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.), Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) and Farina all had an RBI.

Sacred Heart took a 1-0 lead when Hunter Phillips' sacrifice flyball to right field scored Josh Heppner with the game's first run. Sacred Heart starter Corey Corcoran was dealing, holding Quinnipiac to two base runners over the first four innings of play. The Bobcats used a three-run fifth inning to take a two-run lead. Quinnipiac benefitted from an RBI-double from Amanti that scored Farina, who reached on an error. Nisson hit a line drive up the middle that scored Amanti with the go-ahead run before Nisson scored on an error by the Pioneers' right fielder.

The Bobcats accounted for two more runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 5-2 lead. After Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) and Monack both walked to lead-off the inning, Farina reached on a throwing error by the pitcher on a sacrifice bunt, allowing Poletsky to score and Monack to move to third. Amanti then hit a line drive to center field to score Monack and give Quinnipiac a three-run lead.

Birdsall was efficient on the hill for the Bobcats, holding Sacred Heart to just one base runner from the third inning through the fifth. In the bottom of the sixth, Birdsall gave up a lead-off homerun to Rocco Gondek.

In the top of the seventh, the Bobcats plated three more runs to jump out to an 8-2 lead. Sacred Heart pitcher Mike Korevec came-on to pitch in the inning, walking Ullrich, Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) and Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) to load the bases. After he struck out Poletsky, Monack worked the count and drew a walk, bringing home Ullrich. Farina then walked to score Bartlett before Bobby Shepherd relieved Korevec and promptly gave up a single to Guerino on the first pitch of the at-bat to score Migani. Sacred Heart went in order in the bottom of the inning for the Bobcats' second win of the season.

Quinnipiac will close out its four-game series against Sacred Heart on Saturday, April 3 at 10 a.m. at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn.