NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - Sophomore Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) blasted a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning as the Quinnipiac baseball team came from behind to defeat Central Connecticut State, 11-10, in a Northeast Conference match-up at the CCSU Baseball Field in New Britain, Conn. The win pushes the Bobcats over the .500 mark in NEC play to 7-6 while CCSU drops to 9-8 in conference action. The Bobcats have won six of their last seven NEC games, including three straight.
Guerino's home run came with the Bobcats trailing, 10-9, heading into their final at-bats. Guerino was 2-for-4 for the afternoon, with a RBI single in his first at-bat of the game. Guerino now has eight hits and eight RBI in his last four games. Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, while he also drove in three runs and scored two more. Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) was 3-for-5 with three RBI. Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) posted his team-leading 15th multiple-hit game of the season with a 2-for-4 day, while also scoring three runs. Poletsky now has multiple hits in four of his last five games.
Freshman Derek Lamacchia (Whitestone, N.Y.) picked up the win for the Bobcats to improve to 1-4 after working two innings on the hill. Lamacchia was hit for four runs, with only one earned, on three hits while striking out three. Andrew Rinaldi (East Rockaway, N.Y.) pitched a scoreless, hitless ninth inning for his second save of the year.
Central Connecticut jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the bottom of the first inning. After Guerino drove in Migani in the top of the second, Quininipiac struck for five runs in the top of the third to take a 6-2 lead. Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.) was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a single by Poletsky. Migani then cleared the bases with a two-run double to right center. After Guerino flew out to center, Nisson delivered a two-out single the opposite way to score Migani from second base. Ryan Ullrich (Orange, Conn.) lined a single to right field before Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) tripled to center field to bring both runners around. Bartlett's triple was his second extra-base hit of the year, while it pushes his hitting streak against NEC schools to five games.
CCSU responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning to cut the Quinnipiac lead in half, 6-4. Quinnipiac bounced back with a three-run fourth inning, highlighted by a sacrifice fly by Migani that scored Ben Farina (Wateford, Conn.). Nisson then hammered his second two-out hit of the game, a single to right-center that scored Guerino and Poletsky to give Quinnipiac a 9-4 lead.
In the sixth, a pair of errors accounted for two unearned runs against Quinnipiac starter Mike Oskandy (Bethel, Conn.) that ended the senior's day. Oskandy threw six strong innings, giving up six runs, four earned, on 10 hits while walking three and striking out three. Oskandy consistently worked down in the strike zone, as his ground-outs to fly-outs ratio was 11-3.
Lamacchia came on in relief in the seventh inning, retiring the first two batters he faced before hitting the next with a pitch. He was able to get Central's next batter to line out to short to end the inning. In the eighth, the Blue Devils re-took the lead with four runs, three of which were unearned. Lamacchia struck out Sean Miller-Jones before Sean Allaire bounced a single up the middle and moved to second on a wild pitch. He came around to score when Anthony Scialdone singled down the left field line. Pat Epps was then hit by a pitch before Mitch Wells reached on an error. Richie Tri then doubled to right field, driving in all three runners to give Central Connecticut a one-run lead, 10-9, heading into the ninth inning.
In the ninth, Poletsky walked to lead-off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Migani, putting the tying run in scoring position. Guerino then blasted his second home run of the season to give Quinnipiac the lead. Rinaldi retired the first two batters he faced before hitting Allaire with a pitch. Rinaldi was able to get Scialdone to fly out down the right field line to end the threat and record his second save in his last two games.
The Bobcats and Blue Devils will hit the field on Saturday, April 24 for a NEC doubleheader at the CCSU Baseball Field at 12 p.m. Both games will be seven innings, with the second game starting approximately 30 minutes following the completion of the first. The two teams finish their four-game series on Sunday, April 25 with a nine-inning game slated for a 1 p.m. start.