Baseball Splits NEC Doubleheader With Central Connecticut State
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University baseball team split a Northeast Conference doubleheader against Central Connecticut State University, winning the first game 13-4, before dropping the second game 8-4. The Bobcats go to 8-7 in the NEC and 9-25 overall while Central Connecticut goes to 10-9 in conference play and 17-14 overall. The win in the first game was Quinnipiac's fourth straight against a Northeast Conference opponent. After losing five of their first six games against NEC opponents, Quinnipiac has won seven of their last nine conference games. The loss in the second game snapped a five-game winning streak against NEC schools, Quininipiac's longest since May, 2007.
In the first game, Kyle Birdsall (Orange, Conn.) picked up his third consecutive Northeast Conference win to improve to 3-3 on the season after holding CCSU to four runs on five hits while striking out six. Spencer Kane (Wolcott, Conn.) pitched a scoreless seventh inning. At the plate, Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.) was 4-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored. For the day, the senior centerfielder was 5-for-8 with four runs scored. Lead-off hitter Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) was 3-for-3 with a triple with two RBI and three runs scored. Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) strung together his team-best 16th multiple-hit game as he went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) and Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) both tallied two hits while Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) drove in two runs.
Quinnipiac scored twice in the third inning when Monack singled through the right side of the infield to score Amanti. Poletsky hit a sacrifice fly to score Farina to give Quinnipiac a 2-0 lead. The Bobcats pushed their lead to 12-0 with back-to-back five-run innings in the fourth and fifth. In the fourth, Amanti's triple scored Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) and Ryan Ullrich (Orange, Conn.). Farina then singled to bring Amanti home before Poletsky hit his second sacrifice fly of the day to score Farina. Migani followed with a triple of his own to score Monack. In the fifth, Farina, Monack, Poletsky, Migani and Guerino all drove in runs in the inning.
Meanwhile, Birdsall was dealing. The righty hurler allowed just one runner over the first three innings, a double by Jeff Meade in the second. After allowing the lead-off batter to reach in the fourth, he later picked him off to end the inning. It wasn't until the fifth inning, and a one-out homerun by Richie Try, that Central Connecticut finally struck. The Blue Devils managed to squeeze three more runs out of the sixth inning, before Kane came on for the Bobcats to slam the door in the seventh.
In the second game, Central Connecticut used a four-run third inning, highlighted by a three-run homer by Pat Epps to jump out to an early lead. The Bobcats couldn't solve Meade on the mound who cruised through six innings, hold Quinnipiac to two hits until their final at-bat. Quinnipiac freshman Alex Russow (Milford, Conn.) suffered his first loss of the year to drop to 2-1 after allowing four runs on five hits over five innings pitched. Kane came back to pitch the sixth, where he was tagged for four runs on three hits to give CCSU a 7-0 lead heading into the top of the seventh.
In the seventh, Monack and Poletsky started the Quinnipiac rally with a pair of singles to start the inning. After Migani fouled out, Guerino hit a double-play ball that Poletsky was retired on for the second out, but the throw to first was off-line, allowing Monack to score and Guerino to advance to second. Ullrich doubled to right field to score Guerino before Bartlett homered to center field to cut the Central Connecticut lead in half, 8-4.
Quinnipiac will close out its four-game Northeast Conference series against Central Connecticut on Sunday, April 25 at the CCSU Baseball Field at 1 p.m.