Baseball Sweeps NEC Doubleheader Against Fairleigh Dickinson

PARAMUS, N.J. -The Quinnipiac University baseball team swept a Northeast Conference doubleheader against Fairfield Dickinson at Bergen Community College in Paramus, N.J. The Bobcats came from behind in the second game to win 11-6 after winning the first game 3-2, as they take three of their first four NEC games of the 2011 season. Quinnipiac goes to 7-5 overall and 3-1 in the NEC while FDU drops to 5-10 overall and 1-3 in league play.

Quinnipiac senior Anthony Cinelli (Wall, N.J.) and George Dummar (Branford, Conn.) picked up wins on the hill for the Bobcats. Cinelli pitched six strong innings to improve to 2-0 for the year while Andrew Rinaldi (East Rockaway, N.Y.) picked up his first save of the year. Dummar came on in relief in the second game and pitched eight shutout innings, striking out nine, while allowing five hits in the outing. He improves to 2-10 on the season.

At the plate, Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) had just two hits, but reached base in half of his appearances, driving in four runs and stealing four bases. Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) was 4-for-6 for the twin bill, including a 3-for-3 showing with a three-run homer and double in the second half of the doubleheader. Guerino also drove in two runs and scored two more. Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) collected his 196th and 197th career hits, respectively, to move three hits closer to becoming the seventh player in Quinnipiac history to reach the 200-hit mark.

In the first game, Quinnipiac got on the board early when Farina walked with one out. Migani followed with a double off the wall in left center field to score Farina and give Quinnipiac an early 1-0 lead.

In the fourth inning, Migani reached base when a 2-2 pitch hit him in the foot. After he stole second base, Nisson's line drive to left field scored Migani to give Quinnipiac a 2-0 lead. Mike Bartlett (Orange, Conn.) followed with a single down the right field line to move Nisson to third base with one out. Palmer followed with a deep drive to center field that scored Nisson to give the Bobcats a three-run lead, 3-0, heading into the bottom half of the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Cinelli hit DJ Robinson with a pitch with one out before a ground ball to second was misplayed, putting runners on first and second. A line drive to left field scored Robinson with an unearned run before Cinelli struck out Mike Eliasen and got J.T. Sherba to ground out to end the threat as the Bobcats headed to the fifth leading 3-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, Fairleigh Dickinson's Matt Holsman walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on an infield error to put runners on first and second. After Erik Pollag bunted both runners into scoring position, Brian Dillon's fly ball to left was deep enough to score Holsman and pull the Knights within a run, 3-2.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Cinelli got Steven LaForge to fly out to center field before Eric Anderson collected his third hit of the day. A ground ball by Eliasen retired pinch-runner Nick Melchiorre at second while Eliasen reached base. Pinch hitter Joe Martino then singled through the left side of the infield to move Eliasen to third and Holsman drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Ryan Kresky then crushed a 2-2 offering from Cinelli the opposite way that left fielder Mike Bartlett tracked down for the final out of the inning.

Quinnipiac senior Andrew Rinaldi (East Rockaway, N.Y.) came on in relief of Cinelli. Rinaldi gave up hits to Pollag and Dillon to lead off the inning. Clean-up hitter DJ Robinson hit a fly ball to the warning track for the first out of the inning before LaForge ground out to first base for the second out. Pinch-hitter Scott Morrison then line-out to end the game.

In the second game, Kresky led off the second game with a single and scored on a hit by Dillon. Dillon was driven in by LaForge to give FDU a 2-0 lead through the first inning.

In the top of the second, Nisson walked to lead off the inning before FDU starter Eliasen retired Bartlett and Palmer. Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) followed with a line-drive home run down the right field line to tie the game at 2-2.

In the bottom of the second, Fairleigh Dickinson struck for four runs off of starter Nick Fabrizio (Peabody, Mass.) Fabrizio hit Martino with a pitch with the first pitch of the inning. Holsman hit a slow-roller between third base and the pitcher mound that was played by Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.). Poletsky's throw ticked off the end of Guerino's glove at first, moving Martino to third and Holsman to second base. After Fabrizio walked Kresky to load the bases, Pollag delivered with a ground ball through the right side of the infield to score Martino and Holsman, with an unearned run, to give the Knights a 4-2 lead.

The hit ended Fabrizio's day who gave up five runs on four hits in an inning plus of work. George Dummar (Branford, Conn.) came on in relief. Dummar induced a ground ball, but a play couldn't be made, allowing Kresky to score to give the Knights a three-run lead, 5-2. A broken double play allowed Pollag to come around as FDU took a four-run lead., 6-2.

In the top of the fifth, Guerino collected his second hit of the day with a line drive to left field before Mike Blumenthal (Dix Hills, N.Y.) followed with a single to left as well. After Amanti ground out to third, and Farina struck out for the second out of the inning, Migani drove both runs in with a single to right field to move the Bobcats within two runs, 6-4.

In the eighth, Quinnipiac stuck for three runs to take the lead. Palmer and Guerino led off the inning with a pair of hits up the middle. After Nick Cavale came in to run for Guerino, Blumenthal dropped down a bunt. With the throw in the dirt at first, FDU was able to catch Palmer in a run-down and threw him out at first as Cavale went to third. Reliever Spencer Kelly then hit Amanti with a pitch to load the bases with one out. Farina followed with a slow roller to short for a hit that score Cavale and pulled Quinnipiac within a run, 6-5. Migani then hit a fly ball to deep center to score Blumenthal and tie the game at 6-6. Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) hit a sharp ground ball to short that was misplayed for an error, allowing Amanti to come around with the go-ahead run to give Quinnipiac a 7-6 lead heading into the bottom of the inning.

The Bobcats continued to roll in the ninth when Bartlett led off with a walk before a double from Palmer and single from Nick Cavale loaded the bases. Blumenthal's slow-roller up the line gave FDU a play at the plate but Bartlett was able to beat the throw to give Quinnipiac a two-run lead, 8-6. Amanti then delivered with a double to right-center field to bring around Cavale and Palmer and give Quinnipiac a 10-6 lead. A sacrifice fly ball by Farina scored Blumenthal to give Quinnipiac an 11-6 lead.

Quinnipiac is back in action on Tuesday, March 22 when it travels to West Point, N.Y. to take on the United States Military Academy at 3 p.m.