WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - The Quinnipiac University baseball team lost to Monmouth, 9-3, in the first game of a four-game Northeast Conference series in West Long Branch, N.J. With the loss, the Bobcats drop to 9-8 in NEC play and 10-27 overall while Monmouth improves to 11-10 in conference action and 18-18 on the season. The loss was Quinnipiac's second in its last seven Northeast Conference games.
Junior Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) led the Quinnipiac offense with a pair of hits for his sixth multiple-hit outing in the last 10 games. Farina also drove a ball to right field that Monmouth outfielder Mike Casale was able to coral to steal a homerun from the Bobcats' left fielder. Quinnipiac sophomore Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) was 2-for-4 with a run scored while Ryan Ullrich (Orange, Conn.) drove in a pair of runs. Mike Oskandy (Bethel, Conn.) took the loss for the Bobcats to drop to 2-5 on the season after giving up five runs on six hits over six innings.
Farina now carries a team-best 10-game hitting streak, the longest this season for Quinnipiac. He leads the team during that stretch with a .465 (20-43) average with 12 runs scored as well as a .477 on-base percentage. His two hits in the game also make Farina the only player in the Bobcats' line-up with a pair of 50-hit seasons, while he sits a hit away from becoming the 17th player in Quinnipiac history, and 14th at the Division I level, to reach 160 hits for his career.
Oskandy was on a roll early, as he sat down the first nine batters he faced through the game's first three innings. In the fourth, Casale drew a lead-off walk and advanced to second on a single by Ryan Terry's. Jamie Rosenkranz delivered a run-scoring single through the left side to give the Hawks a 1-0 edge. After a double steal put a pair of runners in scoring position, Nick Pulsonetti's sacrifice fly ball to right brought Terry home for a two-run Hawks' lead. Monmouth hit for two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning when a failed pick-off allowed one runner to score. Rosenkranz drove in another RBI single to push Monmouth's lead to 4-0 through five innings. Bobby Dombrowski's fourth homerun of the season to lead off the sixth inning gave the Hawks a 5-0 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Quinnipiac managed to put together a rally, scoring three runs to pull within two runs, 5-3, heading into the bottom half of the inning. After Monmouth starter Nick Meyers retired Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.) and Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) to open the inning, he gave up a single to Migani and hit Gabe Guerino (Orange, Conn.) with a pitch to put two runners on. Migani scored on a double by Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) down the right field line as Guerino moved to third. Both runners came around on a single to right field by Ullrich, who stole second after reaching, before Meyers struck out Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) to end the Quinnipiac threat.
In the bottom half of the inning, Todd DeFrancesco (North Haven, Conn.) came on in relief of Oskandy. DeFrancesco hit Mike Casale with a pitch to start the inning before getting Ryan Terry to fly out for the first out. Rosenkranz followed with a single to move Casale to second. Both runners moved into scoring position on a ground ball by Nick Pulsonetti for the second out of the inning. Dombrowski's two-out single scored Casale before Danny Avella's three-run homer gave Monmouth the 9-3 cushion. Neil Harm pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings, while giving up a hit to Migani.
Quinnipiac freshman Spencer Kane (Wolcott, Conn.) pitched a scoreless eighth for Quinnipiac, striking out two batters without giving up a hit.
The Bobcats and Hawks are back in action on Saturday, May 1 when they hit the field for a pair of seven-inning games set for a 1 p.m. start. The two teams finish up their four-game NEC series on Sunday, May 2 with a nine-inning game also schedule for 1 p.m.