HAMDEN, Conn. The Quinnipiac University baseball team lost both ends of a Northeast Conference doubleheader against Central Connecticut State University, 19-8 and 8-4, in a twinbill played at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field in Hamden, Conn. The pair of losses drops Quinnipiac to 10-22 overall and 3-8 in the NEC while Central Connecticut State goes to 15-12 overall and 5-5 in conference play.
In the first game, Central Connecticut's Ken Kerski picked up the win to improve to 2-2 on the season. Kerski went the distance, spinning eight runs, seven earned, on 14 hits over seven innings. Kerski struck out eight. Andy Mayer (Trumbull, Conn.) took the loss for Quinnipiac to drop to 3-3 on the year. For Quinnipiac, Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) was 2-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored. For CCSU, Sean Parker blasted two homeruns as he drove in four runs. Sean Allaire was 4-for-6 with four runs scored.
In the second game, Mike Oskandy (Bethel, Conn.) took the loss to drop to 1-6 on the season after allowing six runs, four earned, on eight hits while striking out three over 4 2/3. Ryan Ullrich (Orange, Conn.) was 2-for-3 in the second game with his first career homerun and two runs batted in. Ullrich had four hits in six at-bats in the doubleheader.
In Game 1, Casey Walko slapped a base hit through the right side of the infield and then advanced to third on a single up the middle by Anthony Scialdone in the 1st inning. Pat Epps then reached on an error by the Quinnipiac third baseman and advanced to second as the ball ended up in right field. Walko scored to give Central Connecticut a 1-0 lead as Scialdone advanced to third. After Richie Tri walked, Quinnipiac starter Andy Mayer (Trumbull, Conn.) got Tommy Meade to pop up to right field and a strong throw to the plate by Bobcats right fielder Ryan Ullrich (Woodbridge, Conn.) held Scialdone at third. Kyle Zarotney's line drive to left field scored Scialdone, while Epps snuck home to give CCSU a 3-0 lead on a throw that was off line and got past Bryn Doyle (Manchester, N.H.) at third base. The run was unearned.
Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) started the bottom half of the inning with a line drive to left field for a base hit, marking the 11th straight game with a hit for the freshman shortstop. Migani moved into scoring position at second base on a wild pitch by Central Connecticut starter Ken Kerski. A ground ball by Doyle to second base moved Migani to third base before Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.) struck out for the second out of the inning. Mike Marmo (Brookville, Conn.) delivered a two-out RBI with a ground ball between second and third to score Migani and pull within two runs, 3-1. Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) lined a single to right field, advancing Marmo to third on the hit. After Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) walked to load the bases, Kerski struck out Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) to end the Bobcat threat.
In the top of the 2nd, Mitch Wells led off the inning for CCSU with a hard groundball back up the middle, before Sean Allaire dropped down a bunt and beat out the throw for a single. Walko's sacrifice bunt in the next at-bat moved Wells to third and Allaire to second before Scialdone's ground ball to first scored Wells to give Central Connecticut a 4-1 lead. Epps then hit a ball down the right field line that bounced out of the Quinnipiac right fielder's glove and ended up in dead-ball territory. Allaire scored on the play, while Epps circled the bases. After much deliberation, Epps was sent back to second base. Central Connecticut State's head coach Charlie Hickey protested the game at that point, arguing that Epps should have scored on the play. Allaire's run was unearned as Central Connecticut State took a 5-1 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) led off with a single to right-center field and then moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Ullrich. He scored a single up the middle by Migani to cut into the Blue Devils' lead, 5-2. In the third, Monack walked to the start the inning before back-to-back hits through the left side of the infield by Marmo and Guerino. Poletsky then ground out to first, scoring Monack to move Quinnipiac to within two runs, 5-3. Farina's ground-out to short drove Marmo in to make it a one-run game, 5-4. Amanti then followed with a two-run homerun to left field to give Quinnipiac a 6-5 lead.
In the top of the 5th inning, Mayer hit Meade with a pitch before getting Kyle Zarotney to fly out to center field. Parker then crushed a Mayer fastball to right-center field as Central Connecticut State re-took the lead, 7-6. After Wells reached on an error, Allaire lined a single to right field. The hit knocked Mayer from the game. He finished the day on the hook for the loss after allowing seven runs, five earned, on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings. Mayer walked one and struck out one. He was relieved by Anthony Cinelli (Wall, N.J.).
Cinelli gave up a ground rule double to Walko, driving home Wells before a ground ball to first scored Allaire as Central Connecticut State took a 9-6 lead. In the 6th, Central Connecticut State erupted for seven runs on five hits to take a 16-6 lead through the top of the inning. The first seven batters of the inning reached base for an out was recorded. Cinelli was lifted following a two-run single by Wells. Cinelli was charged with five runs on three hits over 2/3 of an inning. DeFrancesco gave up two runs on three hits in the 6th before pitching out of a jam.
In the bottom half of the inning, Doyle led off with a line drive to right-center field for a single, followed by a hard-hit liner up the middle by Monack to put the first two hitters in the inning on base. Monack was retired on a ground ball to third base by Marmo, who reached on a fielder's choice. Guerino's ground ball to second base retired Marmo, but scored Doyle as Quinnipiac put another run on the board, 16-7.
Parker got the run back for Central Connecticut State with his second homerun of the game to deep left field as CCSU pushed its lead to 17-7. Central Connecticut State took a 19-7 lead through the 7th after tacking on three more runs in their final at-bat.
In the second game, Quinnipiac gave up a run in the top of the 1st inning on two errors. After Mike Oskandy (Bethel, Conn.) struck out the first batter he faced, Allaire, on three pitches, Walko reached on a throwing error by Migani at short. Oskandy then got Scialdone to ground out to first for the second out of the inning before Epps reached on an error by Quinnipiac's shortstop, allowing Walko to score to give CCSU a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, Guerino drove home Monack with the tying run. After Central Connecticut starter Taylor Kosakowski retired Migani, Doyle laced a single to center field. A ground ball by Monack retired Doyle as the latter reached on a fielder's choice. Marmo then reached on an error as Monack went to third base. Guerino's single scored Marmo to tie the game, 1-1.
Central Connecticut tacked on runs in the 3rd and 4th innings to take a 3-1 lead. Three errors in the first three innings accounted for two unearned runs charged to Oskandy. Meanwhile, Kosakowski was cruising as he retired 10 straight before a two-out single by Farina in the bottom of the 4th.
In the top of the 5th, Walko led off with a chopper to short for a base hit before advancing to second base on a wild pitch from Oskandy. Scialdone then rifled an Oskandy offering through the right side of the infield to score Walko and give CCSU a 4-1 lead. They took a 5-1 lead on a double by Jay Schillaci to right-center field to score Scialdone. Meade's blooper to center field scored Schillaci to give CCSU a 6-1 lead.
The run ended the day for Oskandy, who was relieved in favor of DeFrancesco. Oskandy allowed six runs, four earned, on eight hits while while walking one and striking out three over 4 2/3 innings pitched.
In the bottom of the 5th, Ullrich turned on the first pitch of the inning, crushing his first career homerun to left field as Quinnipiac pulled to within four runs at 6-2. The score went to 6-3 in the bottom of the 6th inning when Guerino walked with one out and was lifted for pinch runner John Simone (Setauket, N.Y.). After Poletsky flew out for the second out of the inning, Farina reached on an error by the Blue Devils' third baseman. Amanti then smashed a single to center field, scoring Simone from second base. Ullrich then hit a chopper up the middle that took a unlucky bounce directly to Scialdone at short. Farina scored to move Quinnipiac to 6-4, but Amanti was caught off the bag for the final out of the inning.
In the top of the 7th, Schillaci and Meade both reached on singles with two outs before Parker singled up the middle to score both runners and give Central Connecticut an 8-4 lead.
The two teams finish their four-game series on Sunday, April 19 with a nine-inning game set for a 12 p.m. start from the Quinnipiac Baseball Field.