KINGSTON, R.I. The Quinnipiac University baseball team lost to the University of Rhode Island, 11-6, in a non-conference game played at Bill Beck Field in Kingston, R.I. The loss drops Quinnipiac to 9-20 overall while Rhode Island improves to 20-12-1.
Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) was 1-for-4 while driving in four runs. Farina belted his team-leading fourth homerun of the season, a three-run shot in the top of the 8th inning. Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.) and Mike Marmo (Brookville, N.Y.) were both 2-for-4 with an RBI while Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) also collected two hits. Six of Quinnipiac's 10 hits in the game were doubles, the most for the Bobcats since they rapped-out seven against Sacred Heart on May 10, 2008.
Quinnipiac took an early lead, scoring a run in the 1st inning off of Rhode Island starter Chris Pickering. Freshman Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) doubled to left center to lead off the game before scoring on a double to the gap by Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.) to give Quinnipiac a 1-0 lead heading to the bottom half of the inning. Migani extended his team-best hitting streak to eight games with the two-bagger.
Rhode Island responded when Oliver Palmer doubled with one out in the 1st off of Quinnipiac starter Kyle Birdsall (Orange, Conn.). After Palmer moved to third on an error, Tom Coulomble reached on a fielder's choice, allowing Palmer to cross with an unearned run to tie the score, 1-1.
Quinnipiac took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 3rd inning when Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) reached on a fielder's choice when Migani was put out at second base. After Monack collected his second hit of the day to move Amanti to third, he was driven home on a ground ball by l Marmo to give Quinnipiac a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, it was Palmer that tied the game once again, this time on a sacrifice fly by URI's Rob DeVeney. After Coulombe singled through the left side of the infield, both runners were driven home on a double down the left field line by Mike LeBel to give the Rams a 4-2 lead.
In the 6th, Birdsall gave up back-to-back hits to DeVeney and Jeff Cammans to start the inning before getting LeBel to fly out. Kenny Burns then singled through the left side of the infield to score DeVeney with the Rams' fifth run of the game, knocking Birdsall from the game in favor of Andrew Rinaldi (East Rockaway, N.Y.). Birdsall allowed seven runs, six earned, on 10 hits over 4 1/3 before giving way to Rinaldi.
With Rinaldi on the mound, Cammans scored on a sacrifice squeeze by Milan Adams, followed by a double by Pete Mastors to score Burns and give Rhode Island a 7-2 lead after five innings.
In the top of the 6th inning, Marmo doubled to left field with one out, followed by a walk to Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) and a single to right field by Poletsky to load the bases. Farina drove in Marmo to cut the Rams' lead to four runs, 7-3, as Guerino was put out at third.
After Rhode Island struck for a run in the bottom of the 7th to push their lead to 8-3, Quinnipiac jumped on Rams' reliever Gardner Leaver for three runs in the top of the eighth to cut URI's lead to 8-6. With two outs, Guerino doubled to left field, followed by a single through the left side of the infield by John Simone (Setauket, N.Y.), who pinch hit for Poletsky. Farina then blasted his team-leading fourth homerun of the season to left field to pull Quinnipiac within two runs heading to the bottom of the 8th.
In the bottom half of the inning, Todd DeFrancesco (North Haven, Conn.) relieved Rinaldi, who gave up one run on three hits over 2 2/3. DeFrancesco gave up a double to Dan Rhault before walking Coulombe to start the inning. Both runners then moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by DeVeney. After Cammans struck out for the second out of the inning, LeBel singled to short, scoring Rhault, after he beat out a throw to first. The throw home was off line, allowing Rhault to move to second and Coulombe to score. Burns then doubled to left-center field, scoring Rhault and giving Rhode Island an 11-6 lead.
The Bobcats return to Northeast Conference play this weekend when they host in-state rival, Central Connecticut State University, in a four-game series set to begin on Friday, April 17. The Bobcats and the Blue Devils will play a nine-inning game at 3 p.m. on Friday, followed by a pair of seven-inning games on Saturday, April 18 at 12 p.m. The doubleheader on Saturday will be played in honor of Katie Vashon, who was a student worker in the Quinnipiac Sports Information Department before she passed away during her senior year. The series concludes on Sunday, April 19 with a single, nine-inning game scheduled for 1 p.m.