QU Baseball Sweeps Manhattan in MAAC Doubleheader; Jankins Hurls Gem In Game 1, Bobcats Storm Back For Walk-off In Game 2

BRONX, N.Y. - The Quinnipiac University baseball team won its first two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference games in program history, sweeping a doubleheader against Manhattan, 4-0 and 5-4, at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y. With the sweep, Quinnipiac improves to 4-13 overall and 2-0 in MAAC play while Manhattan drops to 2-15 overall while opening conference action at 0-2.

In the first game, freshman Thomas Jankins (West Brookfield, Mass.) won his second game of the season after holding Manhattan scoreless while striking out 10 over eight innings pitched. Jankins gave way to senior Gary Binkiewicz (Scotch Plains, N.J.) who slammed the door on the Jaspers in the ninth. The nine-inning, combined shutout was the first at Quinnipiac since Mar. 27, 2007 when Pat Egan and Chris Gloor - currently in the Cincinatti Reds and San Francisco Giants minor league system, respectively - blanked Stony Brook, 7-0.  

The second half of the MAAC twinbill saw a back-and-fourth battle as both team gave up multiple-run leads before Quinnipiac plated the game-winning tally in the bottom of the ninth inning for the walk-off win. Manhattan erased a 2-0 Quinnipiac lead when it pushed across four in the top of the sixth before the Bobcats tied the game in the seventh.

In the ninth, Mike Palladino's bases-loaded single to left field scored Brian Ruditys (Boothwyn, Pa.) with the game-winner. Game 1 saw sophomore Lou Iannotti (North Haven, Conn.) go 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI and junior Vincent Guglietti (East Haven, Conn.) drive in two runs on a 2-for-3 day. Freshman Matthew Batten (Shelton, Conn.) was 2-for-3 with a run scored. It was Guglietti's two-run double in the sixth that broke a 0-0 tie and scored Ianotti and Ruditys to give Quinnipiac a 2-0 lead.

In the eighth, Iannotti drove in Batten to give Quinnipiac a 3-0 lead before the Bobcats loaded the bases and a wild pitch allowed Iannotti to score to give the Bobcats a 4-0 lead. Binkiewcz came on in the ninth and didn't allow a hit. After letting a runner reach on a walk he ended the game as the Bobcats turned a 5-4-3 double play.

Quinnipiac had another solid pitching performance in game two. Justin Thomas (Enfield, Conn.) got the ball and pitched 5 2/3 innings, scattering five hits while giving up three earned runs and striking out three batters. Thomas held the Jaspers scoreless through five before Manhattan's Vin Teixeira led-off the sixth with a base hit. Evan Brown pinch ran for Teixeira and immediately stole second. With one out, Brown advanced to third on a balk and scored on a sacrifice fly to cut the Bobcats lead in half.

With two outs, Jose Carrera singled and moved to third when an error by Thomas allowed the batter to reach first to put runners on the corners. With the runners at the corners,  Carrera broke for home on Thomas' pick-off attempt to first, stealing the plate and tying the game at 2-2. Manhattan took a 3-2 lead on an RBI-double that ended Thomas's afternoon.  

Matthew Osieja (Wycoff, N.J.) pitched the Bobcats out of the sixth, but not before Manhattan added another run to jump out to a two-run lead, 4-2. In the seventh, Ryan Nelson (Knoxville, Tenn.) doubled as part of a 2-for-3 day, and moved to third on a ground ball by Ruditys. After Batten walked to put runners on the corners, both runners moved up a base on a balk as Nelson's run pulled Quinnipiac within a run, 4-3. Batten went to third on a ground-out to the catcher by Iannotti, and then tied the game on a wild pitch.

Osieja retired the Jaspers in order, before Quinnipiac went down in the bottom of the eighth without making much noise. Osieja then took out the final three Manhattan batters in the ninth by virtue of a pair of ground balls and a strike out.

In the ninth, Ruditys walked and moved to second when Batten's groundball to second was misplayed. After Iannotti moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Manhattan walked Guglietti to load the bases with one out. Palladino then lined a single to left-center to score Ruditys with the game-winner.

Quinnipiac and Manhattan play the third and final game of their three-game series on Sunday, Mar. 23 at 12 p.m. at Van Cortlandt Park.

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