Baseball Splits Season-Opening Doubleheader Against Marshall

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The Quinnipiac University baseball team split a non-conference doubleheader against Marshall at the Coastal Carolina Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Bobcats won their season-opener, 8-3, before dropping the second game of the twin bill against the Thundering Herd, 8-3. Quinnipiac goes to 1-1 on the season while Marshall goes to 4-4.

Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) had a pair of hits in both games while Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) drove in three runs and scored two more in the first game.

In Game 1, Kyle Birdsall (Orange, Conn.) got the decision on the hill for the Bobcats while Anthony Cinelli (Wall, N.J.) picked up a save. Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) and Gabe Guerino (Orange, Conn.) both collected two hits while Chris Migani (Milford, Conn.) drove in a pair of runs. 2010 All-NEC third baseman Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) and freshman designated hitter Zak Palmer both drove in runs in the win. In all, every Quinnipiac batter collected a hit as the Bobcats' offense rapped out 12 for the afternoon. The win marks the first time since the 2008 season that the Bobcats open the year with a year, after Quinnipiac defeated Davidson, 15-10, on Mar. 8, 2008.

Kyle Birdsall was tagged for three runs in the second inning, only two of which were earned. Birdsall picked up the victory after he scattered six hits over six innings pitched while striking out five. The Bobcats bounced back from a 3-0 deficit when they tacked on a run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Amanti walked and then stole second base. Farina drilled a ground ball through the left side of the infield, moving Amanti to third base. Migani's fly ball to left field was deep enough to score Amanti as the Bobcats pulled within two runs, 3-1.

After the first two Thundering Herd batters reached base to start the sixth, Birdsall got Nathan Gomez to pop to left before Gray Stafford flew out to right center. Birdsall struck out Victor Ramos to end the inning. In the bottom half of the inning, the Bobcats' bats erupted for six runs to take a 7-3 lead through the sixth. Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) led off the inning with a single up the middle before moving to second base on a passed ball. After Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) struck out, Palmer collected his first collegiate hit and RBI when he singled up the middle to score Nisson from second base.

Guerino singled through the left side of the infield, moving Palmer to second base. After freshman Mike Blumenthal (Dix Hills, N.Y.) walked to load the bases, Amanti singled up the middle to clear the bases to give Quinnipiac a 5-3 lead. Amanti's hit chased Marshall reliever Jesse Fernandez in favor of James White. White walked Farina before Migani's groundball back to the mound scored Amanti. After Farina advanced to third base on a passed ball, Poletsky lined a single up the middle to score Farina and give Quinnipiac a four-run lead, 7-3. Amanti drove in another run in the seventh inning, scoring Blumenthal, to give Quinnipiac a four-run lead.

Cinelli came on in relief of Birdsall in the seventh inning. The senior right-handed pitcher stymied the Marshall offense for the final three innings as he picked up his first save of the season. Cinelli retired the first three batters he faced before walking Victor Gomez to start the eighth. Cinelli got the next Thundering Herd batter to fly out before inducing a ground ball for the double play. Cinelli gave up his first hit with one out in the ninth inning before retiring the last batter of the afternoon to secure the victory.

In the second game, Farina, Migani, Poletsky and Bartlett all collected two hits while Amanti, Farina and Migani accounted for the Bobcats' three runs. Derek Lamacchia (Whitestone, N.Y.) took the loss after giving up three runs - including two unearned - on six hits over the first five innings. Spencer Kane (Wolcott, Conn.) came on in relief and gave up two runs on three hits. Andrew Rinaldi (East Rockaway, N.Y.) pitched the final two innings, holding Marshall to one unearned run on one hit while striking out three.

Quinnipiac is back in action on Saturday, March 5 when they face Ball State at 7 p.m. at Coastal Carolina's Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field in Myrtle Beach, S.C.