Quinnipiac Baseball Opens 2014 Season At Norfolk State Invitational Against Villanova On Saturday, Feb. 22

NORFOLK STATE INVITATIONAL- MARTY L. MILLER STADIUM, NORFOLK, VA.
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (0-0)
vs. Villanova University Wildcats (0-3)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014
Time: 4:00 PM


vs. Norfolk State University Spartans (0-3)
Date:Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM


vs. University of Buffalo Bulls (0-0)
Date: Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM 

SEASON OPENER
The Quinnipiac Baseball Team will open its 2014 season in Norfolk, Virginia February 21st -23rd where they will participate in the Norfolk State Classic.  The Bobcats will take on Villanova at 2 p.m. on the 22nd, followed by its tilt against Norfolk State at 6 p.m. and wrap up their weekend against Buffalo at 10 A.M. on Sunday the 23rd.

SCOUTING THE VILLANOVA WILDCATS
The Wildcats are coming off a 14-40 season in 2013 and looking for their first win in 2014 after being swept last weekend against Charleston Southern.  Josh Harris (5-7, 3.75 ERA, and 86 1/3 innings in 2013) anchors their pitching staff while Eric Lowe is their leading returning hitter (.242, four doubles, 11 runs, and 14 RBI in 2013).

SCOUTING THE NORFOLK STATE SPARTANS
The Spartans finished the 2013 season with a record of 19-29 and are looking for their first win of the 2014 season after dropping games to Furman, Xavier, and Toledo last weekend in the Furman First Pitch Invitational in Greenville, South Carolina.  All-MEAC Second Team choices First basemen Zach Markel (.320, two homers, 11 doubles, 25 runs, and 35 RBI in 2013) and outfielder Cameron Day (.318, two homers, three triples, 11 doubles, 26 runs, and 30 RBI in 2013) lead the way offensively for Norfolk State.  Justin Bhatti leads the Spartans pitching staff  coming off a strong 2013 in which he was 2-7 with a 3.59 ERA in 77 2/3 innings.

SCOUTING THE BUFFALO BILLS
The Bulls went 33-24 in 2013 and will open their 2014 season this weekend like the Bobcats.  Outfielder Jimmy Topps (.314, seven doubles, 11 steals, and 21 RBI in 2013) and Louisville Slugger All-American Tyler Mautner (.295, 23 doubles, and 35 RBI in 2013) return for Buffalo.  Mike Burke, First Team All-MAC, returns after going 8-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 101 2/3 innings in 2013.

2014 QUINNIPIAC BASEBALL PREVIEW

YOUTH MOVEMENT
The Bobcats have a very young yet talented team that will only get better with time. Quinnipiac's rotation for their season-opening weekend at Norfolk State will consist of two freshmen in Thomas Jankins (West Brookfield, Mass.) and Gregory Egan (Seldon, N.Y.) as well as sophomore Justin Thomas (Enfield, Conn). 

BOBCATS PROJECTED OPENING DAY LINE-UP/2013 HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Mike Palladino CF/ So., 39 GP, .210 (25-119), 15 runs scored.
  2. Matthew Batten 2B/ Fr. All-FCIAC, All State
  3. Ryan Nelson 3B/ So., 32 GP, .211 (23-109), 10 RBI
  4. Vincent Guglietti 1B/ Jr., 53 GP, .284, 54 hits, 17 doubles, 23 runs scored, and 25 RBI
  5. Scott Donaghue SS/ Jr., 53 GP, .283, four homers, 11 doubles, 19 runs scored, and 36 RBI
  6. Rob Pescitelli RF/ So., 20 GP, .205 (8-39), four homers, six RBI, and nine runs scored
  7. Nic Civale LF/ Sr., 32 GP., .207 (19-92), five doubles, five RBI, and eight runs scored
  8. Lou Ianotti DH/ Fr., 17 GP, .226 (7-31), two doubles, and five RBI
  9. Matthew Oestreicher C/ Fr., North Haven High School Team Captain and Team MVP

WEEKEND ROTATION/2013 HIGHLIGHTS
2/21 vs. Villanova - Thomas Jankins Fr., RHP, All-State Selection in 2013.
2/22 vs. Norfolk State - Justin Thomas So., LHP, 4-1 with a 4.50 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 52 IP in 2013.
2/23 vs. Buffalo - Gregory Egan Fr., RHP, Senior All-League, First Team All-Long Island, and Team MVP.

SENIOR STRONGHOLD
Nick Fabrizio (Peabody, Mass.) is the most experienced pitcher the Bobcats have returning in 2014. Fabrizio has made 37 career appearances, 22 of them starts, while posting a 5.40 ERA over 151 2/3 innings in his first three seasons. 

CAPTAIN CLOSER
Senior Gary Binkiewicz (Scotch Plains, N.J.) was named the Bobcats' captain for the 2014 season after leading the Quinnipiac pitching staff in appearances (19) and saves (six) while posting a 2.73 earned-run average. Binkiewicz's ERA was the lowest among all Quinnipiac relievers while his 5.46 strikeouts-per-nine-innings was also the tops among all Bobcat relief pitchers.

SCOTT STOVE REPORT
Scott Donaghue (Marlboro, N.J.) was named the assistant captain after a career-year in which he posted career-bests in hits (53), home runs (4), runs-batted-in (36), doubles (11) and slugging percentage (.406). Donaghue's four home runs and 36 RBI led the Bobcats, while he also accumulated nine multiple-RBI games and 14 multiple-hit games.

DONAGHUE FIGHTS THE IRISH, ACTS DEVILISH
Of his most impressive performances, Donaghue had a four-hit day against Notre Dame in which two went for doubles while he also drove in two runs. Donaghue also had a two-home run, four-RBI day against Hartford and a seven-RBI outing against the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut State that included a grand slam in a 11-4 win.

GOOD DAY FOR DONAGHUE
Donaghue became the first Quinnipiac player to drive in seven runs in a game since Jeff Mainetti had seven RBI's against Fairleigh Dickinson on Mar. 26, 2013. Donaghue hit a three-run double in the fifth and then followed with a grand slam in the sixth.

THE LONE SENIOR
Nic Civale is the only senior projected in the lineup to start the season.  Civale has played in 82 games his first three seasons with a career average of .250 with 14 doubles, 22 RBI, and 24 runs scored.

THE BASH BROTHERS
The tandem of Vincent Guglietti (.284, two homers, 17 doubles, 23 runs, 25 RBI) and Scott Donaghue (.283, four homers, 11 doubles, 19 runs, and 36 RBI) led the Bobcats in all offensive categories as sophomores and look for them to lead the way again as juniors.

EXPERIENCED TRIO
Mike Palladino (.210, 7 RBI, and 15 runs), Ryan Nelson (.211, 8 runs, and 10 RBI), and Rob Pescitelli (.205, four homers, six RBI, and nine runs) all saw playing time as freshman but look for this trio of sophomores to really make an impact in 2014. 

METRO ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL
The Quinnipiac University baseball team was picked to finish 11th in the 2014 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, as announced by the MAAC office on Monday, Feb. 10. 

2014 TO BE HEAD COACH DAN GOOLEY'S LAST SEASON AS BOBCATS' HEAD COACH
Quinnipiac baseball's Dan Gooley has announced his retirement from coaching following the 2013-14 academic year. He is a member of the Quinnipiac Athletics Hall of Fame as a player, and also as the coach of the 1983 team enshrined in 2009. He enters his final season as the all-time leader in career victories in Quinnipiac Athletics' history with 524 to date. This past season, the Bobcats' long-time head coach completed his 32nd season that also included five years as an assistant from 1971 to 1976, and two separate stints from 1977 through 1987 and 2002 to the present as the team's head coach.

JOHN DELANEY ELEVATED TO ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH
John Delaney was elevated to associate head coach last fall. Delaney, who graduated from Quinnipiac in 2008, completed his first year with the Bobcats in 2013. Delaney helped guide the Bobcats to an eight-game improvement from the previous year. 2014 will be Quinnipiac's first season competing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).

THE 2014 SCHEDULE
Quinnipiac opens the year at the Norfolk State Classic on Feb. 21-23 in Norfolk, Va. The Bobcats first game of the 2014 season will be against Villanova on Friday, Feb. 21, followed by contests against Norfolk State and the University of Buffalo.

Following the Norfolk State Classic, the Bobcats will head to Knoxville, Tenn. to take on the University of Tennessee in a three-game series on Feb. 28 and Mar. 1 & 2. Quinnipiac's early-season tour continues with a three-game set at the University of Richmond on Mar. 7-9 before a pair of midweek match-ups at Duke University on Tuesday, Mar. 11 and at High Point University on Wednesday, Mar. 12. The Bobcats conclude their spring trip at Navy for a four-game series on Mar. 14-16 with a doubleheader set for Saturday, Mar. 15 in Annapolis, Md.

Quinnipiac settle in to their Northeast schedule after its weekend series at Navy and will play at Fordham on Tuesday, Mar. 18. Thursday, Mar. 20 will feature the Bobcats' home-opener against Sacred Heart before opening MAAC play on Mar. 22-23 when they host Manhattan College.

After a pair of in-state games at Central Connecticut State on Tuesday, Mar. 25 and at home against Yale University on Wednesday, Mar. 26, Quinnipiac will host Rider University on Mar. 29-30. Tuesday, Apr. 1 will feature a home game against the University of Hartford followed by a trip to Hanover, N.H. to face Dartmouth College on Wednesday, Apr. 2.

The following two MAAC weekends will feature trips to Niagara on Apr. 5-6 and Iona on Apr. 12-13 with a home date against Rhode Island on Tuesday, Apr. 8 sandwiched in between. With a road game at Hartford on Tuesday, Apr. 15, Quinnipiac follows with a home match-up against Northeastern on Wednesday, Apr. 16, a three-game series against Saint Peter's on Apr. 19-20 and a midweek, non-conference tilt against UConn on Wednesday, Apr. 23.

The Bobcats will then play 10 of their final 14 games on the road at Radford (Apr. 25-27); at Massachusetts (Apr. 30), at Fairfield (May 10-11) and at Siena (May 15-16), with home games against Canisius (May 3-4) and Sacred Heart (May 13).