TEANECK, N.J. The Quinnipiac University baseball team split a Northeast Conference doubleheader with Fairleigh Dickinson University, with the Knights taking the first game 10-9 before Quinnipiac responded with an 18-2 drubbing in the second game. Senior Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.) and Sophomore Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) each connected for a pair of homeruns in the doubleheader, with Poletsky putting out two in the first game and Monack with two round-trippers in the night cap. Poletsky drove in seven runs in the two games, while Monack drove in five. Quinnipiac now stands at 12-25 overall and 5-10 in NEC play while FDU goes to 10-25 and 5-10 in conference play.
Monack's and Poletsky's homeruns mark the second time in Quinnipiac's Division I history that two players hit two homeruns in a game in the same season, and the first time that two different players did it in back-to-back games.
In the first game, Poletsky's two-homerun effort was the first at Quinnipiac since Mike Marmo (Brookville, N.Y.) blasted two against Monmouth on April 18, 2008, while his four RBI match totals by Doyle against College of Charleston on March 10 and Ben Farina against Rhode Island on April 14. Bryn Doyle (Manchester, N.H.) and Ryan Ullrich (Orange, Conn.) both continued to lead Quinnipiac at the plate. Doyle was 2-for-4 with an RBI as he extended his team-best hitting streak to nine games. Ullrich was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. His two-hit effort gives him four multiple-hit games in his last five appearances.
The second game brought about some redemption for the Bobcats, as they provided their strongest offensive output of the year with 18 runs on 22 hits. Doyle finished the day at 3-for-6 with a homerun and three RBI. Monack was 4-for-5 with a double, two homeruns and three RBI while Guerino was 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and three runs scored. Poletsky was 3-for-5 in the second game with three RBI to wrap up a 5-for-8 day with two homeruns and seven RBI. Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) also drove in three runs while Ullrich strung together his fifth multiple-hit game in his last six starts. Mike Oskandy (Bethel, Conn.) improved to 2-6 on the season after a masterful performance against the Knights. Oskandy gave up two runs on five hits as he went the distance for Quinnipiac.
In the first half of the doubleheader, Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) doubled down the left field line to start the game before Monack's triple down the right field line scored Migani to give Quinnipiac an early 1-0 lead. Monack crossed the plate when Marmo's ground ball to FDU's shortstop was misplayed. After Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) flew out for the second out of the inning, Poletsky poked his third homerun of the season to give the Bobcats a 4-0 lead after one inning of play.
Fairleigh Dickinson used a five-run fourth inning to take a 5-4 lead. Matt Holsman homered to lead off the inning for Fairleigh Dickinson's first run of the day. Zachary Sand followed with a double to left center, before Mayer hit Brian Dillon with a pitch. Matt Maher dropped down a bunt, moving Sand to third and Dillon to second. With first base open, Mayer walked Martino to load the bases before Ryan Kresky delivered with a double to right center, scoring Sand and Dillon as FDU pulled within a run, 4-3. Scott Morrison's single to right field scored Martino and Kresky as they took a 5-4 lead.
Quinnipiac tied the game in the top of the 5th inning when Ryan Ullrich (Orange, Conn.) singled with one out before moving to third on a single by Migani. Doyle then rapped a base hit to right field to score Ullrich and tie the game at 5-5. The hit was Doyle's second of the game as he extended his team-best hitting streak to nine games.
In the 6th, Marmo connected for his third homerun of the season to give Quinnipiac a 6-5 lead. After FDU starter John Meadus hit Guerino with a pitch, he was lifted in favor of Ben Green. Meadus allowed seven runs, four earned, on eight hits while striking out four over five innings pitched.
Poletsky welcomed Green to the game with his second homerun of the day, driving home Guerino, to give Quinnipiac an 8-5 lead. After Farina lined out for the first out of the inning, Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) reached on a fielding error by FDU's first baseman. Amanti then stole second before Ullrich singled to right field to drive Amanti home as Quinnipiac took a 9-5 lead.
In the bottom of the 7th, Mayer gave up a single to Holsman to lead off the inning before he walked Sand. After striking out Dillon, Mayer threw a wild pitch, allowing Holsman and Sand to move to second and third, respectively. After Mayer walked Maher, Mayer was lifted in favor of Monack. Monack walked the first batter he faced, Joe Martino, to force home Holsman and move the Knights to within three runs, 9-6. Monack then struck out pinch-hitter Mark Morton for the second out of the inning. Monack walked Scott Morrison to force home another run, as FDU pulled to 9-7 with the tying run on second base.
The second walk of the inning ended Monack's day in favor of Todd DeFrancesco (North Haven, Conn.). DeFrancesco gave up a bases-clearing double to Erik Pollag as pinch-runner Tristian Keyser scored the game-winning run.
In the second game, Quinnipiac scored three runs in the top of the 2nd inning when Amanti hit a towering shot to center field for his second homerun of the season. After Ullrich reached on an error and stole second, Doyle connected for his third homerun of the season to give Quinnipiac a 3-0 lead. After Pollag scored in the bottom half of the inning to make the score 3-1, Farina singled home Marmo, who reached on a single to lead off the 3rd, to give Quinnipiac a three-run lead, 4-1.
After FDU manufactured a run in the bottom of the 4th, Quinnipiac exploded with a five-run 5th inning. Monack started the rally with a shot to center field that bounced off the wall for a single. Marmo walked and moved to second, with Monack moving to third, on a wild pitch. They both scored on a double by Guerino, who then scored on a single by Poletsky as Quinnipiac took a 7-2 lead. Farina then reached on an error, and moved to second on a passed ball with Poletsky going to third. Both runners would move up a base on a balk, scoring Poletsky, before Ullrich's singled down the right field line to score Farina and give Quinnipiac a 9-2 lead.
In the 6th, Monack led off the inning with his third homerun of the season off of relief pitcher Chris Theordor. Guerino and Poletsky both singled to follow Monack followed by Farina reaching on a fielder's choice as Poletsky was retired. After Amanti walked, Ullrich was walked with the bases full as the Bobcats took an 11-2 lead to the bottom of the 6th.
In the top of the 7th, Monack crushed his fourth homerun of the year, in as many at-bats, with one out in the inning. Marmo followed Monack's homerun with a walk, before Guerino collected his third hit of the game on a double to right field. Poletsky then singled to center field, driving home Marmo and Guerino for his second and third RBI of the game, giving him seven RBI in the doubleheader as the Bobcats took a 14-2 lead. After Farina doubled, moving Poletsky to third, Amanti singled to right-center field, scoring both runners to push Quinnipiac's lead to 16-2. After Ullrich flew out, Migani and Doyle then followed with back-to-back singles, with Doyle's single bringing around Amanti to score as the Bobcats took a 17-2 lead. Monack then slapped a double down the right field line to score Migani to give QU an 18-2 lead.
Quinnipiac will close out its four-game series against Northeast Conference foe Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday, April 26 at 12 p.m. at FDU Field.