Baseball Splits NEC Doubleheader With Monmouth

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.) and Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) each homered in both games of the Quinnipiac University baseball team's doubleheader with Monmouth in West Long Branch, N.J. Quinnipiac dropped the first game, 8-7, before bouncing back to win the second half of the twin bill, 7-2. Quinnipiac goes to 11-28 overall and 10-9 in the Northeast Conference while Monmouth goes to 19-19 overall and 12-11 in NEC play.

With the split, Quinnipiac remains in fourth place in the NEC standings. With Bryant, 14-5 in the NEC, ineligible for postseason play, the Bobcats sit a game behind Sacred Heart and Wagner, both 11-8 and tied for first place. Monmouth trails Quinnipiac by percentage points in fourth place.

Monack drove in five of Quinnipiac's 14 runs for the afternoon, while Migani accounted for three. Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) was 2-for-3 in both games, with a run scored in each. On the mound, Anthony Cinelli (Wall, N.J.) won his second straight start after holding Monmouth to two runs on seven hits over seven innings.

Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) was 4-for-4 with two RBI in the second game of the doubleheader and 5-for-9 for the afternoon. Farina, the active hit-leader, pushed his career total to 164 to become the 17th player in Quinnipiac history, and 14th at the Division I level to reach the 160 hit mark.

In the first game, Monack blasted his sixth home run of the season with two outs in the first inning. Monmouth took the lead in the bottom of the third inning when they pushed across three runs, powered by a two-run homer by Ryan Terry. The Bobcats responded with six runs in the top of the fifth inning when Mickey Amanti's (Waterford, Conn.) single up the middle scored Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) and Bartlett. After Farina doubled, Monack lined a single the opposite way to bring Amanti home. Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) hit a sacrifice fly to score Farina, before Migani connected for his third home run of the season, a two-run shot to give Quinnipiac a 7-3 lead.

The Bobcats gave back a run when Nick Pulsonetti homered to right-center field to pull the Hawks within three runs, 7-4. In the sixth, after Quinnipiac starter Kyle Birdsall (Bethel, Conn.) gave up a single to Owen Stewart to start the inning, Derek Lamacchia (Whitestone, N.Y.) came on in relief. Lamacchia walked Cal Costanzo and struck out Josh Boyd before giving up a single to Mike Casale that drove another run in. After Lamacchia got Terry to pop up to third, Jamie Rosenkrantz gave Monmouth the lead with a three-run homer to right field. Birdsall entered the game with three consecutive wins against NEC opponents, but was handed the no decision after allowing five runs on nine hits over five innings while striking out six. Lamacchia took the loss to drop to 1-5.

In the second game, Monmouth struck first when a double play ball by Rosenkranz allowed Casale to score and give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. The Bobcats, who went scoreless through the first three innings, finally got to Monmouth starter Pat White, striking for seven runs on six hits in the top of the fourth. Afer Poletsky flew out to start the inning, Migani homered to left field to tie the game, 1-1. Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) followed with a single through the left side of the infield before Ryan Ullrich (Orange, Conn.) popped up to second base. Bartlett singled and Tom Donovan (Marshfield, Mass.) walked to load the bases before Amanti was hit by a pitch to force Guerino home. Farina then lined a double to left field, scoring Donovan and Bartlett before Monack crushed an offering from Light over the center field fence for a three-run homer to give Quinnipiac a 7-1 lead. Monmouth scrapped together a hit in the bottom half of the inning, before Cinelli put the clamps on the Hawks' offense. Cinelli allowed on base runner over the final three innings to hold up for the win.

The Bobcats and Hawks finish up their Northeast Conference series with the fourth and final game scheduled for Sunday, May 2 at 1 p.m. at the Monmouth University Baseball Field in West Long Branch, N.J.