HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University baseball team swept Fairleigh Dickinson University, 13-10 and 11-2, in a Northeast Conference doubleheader at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field in Hamden, Conn. The two wins to open the four-game series pushes Quinnipiac to 12-10 in league play while Fairleigh Dickinson goes to 5-17 in the NEC.
Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.), Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) and Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) all homered in the doubleheader. Migani drove in six runs to lead Quinnipiac in the double-dip, posting a 3-for-4 game in the top half of the twin bill, while his three-run homer in the second game helped the Bobcats to an early lead. Bartlett had a homerun in the first game, and a single in the second, as he has now reached safely in a team-best 20 consecutive games. Guerino was 3-for-4 in the second game with three runs scored. Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) had a hit in each game to extend his team-best hitting streak to 15 games. Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) was 3-for-4 with three RBI in the first game as well.
Derek Lamacchia (Whitestone, N.Y.), the team-leader with 15 appearances on the season, picked up the win in relief in the first game after giving up two runs on three hits while striking out three over 3 1/3 innings pitched to improve to 2-5 on the season. Kyle Birdsall (Orange, Conn.) went the distance in the second game, giving up four runs on six hits over seven innings.
In the first game, Fairleigh Dickinson plated two runs in the top of the second inning. The Knights opened the inning with back-to-back hits by DJ Robinson and Joe Martino, before Robinson scored on an error by Quinnipiac's third baseman. Martino crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly ball to give the Knights a 2-0 lead. FDU pushed its lead to 4-0 on a two-out, two-run homer by Robinson in the top of the third inning.
In the bottom of the third, Quinnipiac figured out FDU starter Mike Strachman, striking for three runs on two hits, while an error by the Knights' left fielder accounted for an unearned run after extending the inning. Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) started off the inning with a walk, extending his team-leading run of consecutive games reaching base safely 19.
After Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) flew out to the warning track in left field, Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) walked to put runners on first and second. Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.) reached on an error by the left fielder to load the bases.
Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) delivered with a bloop single to right single, scoring Bartlett and Farina to cut the FDU lead in half, 4-2. Chris Migani's (Orange, Conn.) line drive by the third baseman scored Monack to pull Quinnipiac within a run, 4-3, through three innings. FDU got the run back in the next half inning to push its lead back to two runs, 5-3.
In the fourth, Quinnipiac batted around, plating five runs to take an 8-5 lead. Ryan Ullrich (Orange, Conn.) led off the inning with a single up the middle before stealing second base. After Bartlett ground-out and Amanti walked to place runners on the corners, Farina lined a single to center field to score Ullrich. The single by Farina pushed his team-leading hitting streak to 14 games. Monack then delivered a single down the right field line to score Amanti with the tying run. After Poletsky drew a walk to load the bases, Migani drove in Farina with a sacrifice fly ball down the right field line to give Quinnipiac a 6-5 lead. Gabe Guerino's (Milford, Conn.) line drive to left field cleared the bases as two Bobcats scored to give Quinnipiac a three-run lead, 8-5. After Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) singled to right-center, moving Guerino to third, Strachman was lifted in favor of Craig Warner. The Quinnipiac offense tagged Strachman for eight runs, on nine hits over 3 2/3.
In the sixth, Fairleigh Dickinson bounced back, putting three runs on the board to tie the game at 8-8. Three straight base hits to open the inning, following by a ground ball to the right side of the infield and a wild pitch knotted the score heading into the bottom half of the inning. After Quinnipiac starter Mike Oskandy (Bethel, Conn.) retired two batters, he gave up his fourth hit of the inning, knocking him from the game in favor of Derek Lamacchia (Whitestone, N.Y.). Oskandy's line at the end of the day read eight runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3. It was Lamacchia's team-leading 14th appearance of the season.
In the bottom half of the inning, Nisson registered a two-out line drive down the left field line before scoring on a single to center field by Ullrich to give Quinnipiac a 9-8 lead. The base hit knocked Warner from the game in favor of Zachary Kisling. Warner gave up one run on two hits over two innings pitched. The Bobcats hit Kisling for three runs on four hits over 1 1/3 innings, scoring one run in the sixth, and three more in the seventh.
In the bottom of the eight, Bartlett connected for his second homerun of the season, a tall, towering shot to deep right field that left the Quinnipiac Baseball Field in a hurry. The homer gave Quinnipiac a 13-8 lead. Fairleigh Dickinson made it interesting, scoring twice in the top of the ninth. The Knights had two runners on, and the winning run in the form of pinch hitter Eric Pollag at the plate. Lamacchia was able to retire Pollag to end the game.
In the second game, Quinnipiac benefitted from a five-run first inning, keyed by a three-run homer by Migani, to jump out to a 5-0 lead through the first inning. Guerino and Nisson also had hits in the inning. In the third inning, The Bobcats jotted four more runs across the plate, all on errors. In fact, the first nine runs scored by Quinnipiac were unearned.
It wasn't until Guerino's two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth that Quinnipiac put two earned runs across the plate. Monack led off the inning with a single before FDU starter Matt Cadigan retired the next two batters. Cadigan was able to pitch out of the inning as Quinnipiac took an 11-2 lead into the seventh inning. Eric Anderson hit a two-run homer for Fairleigh Dickinson to account for the Knights' final two runs.
Quinnipiac and FDU are schedule to play again on Saturday, April 8 at 12 p.m. with a seven-inning game followed by a nine-inning game. Bobcat fans are encouraged to check the official website of Quinnipiac athletics, www.quinnipiacbobcats.com, for any schedule changes as rain is in the forecast for Hamden, Conn. on Saturday.