April 3, 2010

Freshman Alex Russow Pitches Quinnipiac To 10-6 Win Against Sacred Heart

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Quinnipiac freshman Alex Russow (Milford, Conn.) spun 8 1/3 scoreless innings in relief to pick up his first career victory as the Quinnipiac University baseball team defeated Sacred Heart, 10-6, in a Northeast Conference match-up at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn. The Bobcats trailed by six runs after the first inning, but a four-hit outing by Russow helped Quinnipiac mount a rally. Quinnipiac goes to 3-17 overall and 3-5 in the NEC while Sacred Heart goes to 8-13 overall and 2-2 in league play.

Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) was 3-for-4 with four RBI, while Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) and Mickey Amanti (Wateford, Conn.) both recorded their 100th career hits. Amanti and Ryan Ullrich (Woodbridge, Conn.) both drove in two runs apiece, while Ullrich scored three runs in the win.

Quinnipiac starter Todd DeFrancesco (North Haven, Conn.) struggled through the first inning, giving up six runs on five hits while pitching 2/3 of an inning before being lifted in favor of Russow. Sacred Heart's first five batters reached safely before DeFrancesco recorded an out. Jeff Heppner and Robert Griffith both drove in a pair of runs before Mike Olszyk crushed an 0-2 offering from DeFrancesco over the center field wall to give Sacred Heart a 6-0 lead through the first inning.

In the top of the second, Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) led off the inning with his 100th career hit, becoming him the 53rd player in Quinnipiac history to reach the century mark. Poletsky hit a fly ball down the left field where it found some empty real estate. The third-year infielder was able to stretch the hit into a double before moving to third on a fly-out down the right field line. Quinnipiac catcher Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) lined the first pitch he saw in his at-bat down the right field line to score Poletsky.

After Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) ground out, moving Nisson to second, Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) lined his 100th career hit over the head of the Pioneers left fielder to score Nisson. Amanti became the 54th player in Quinnipiac history to reach the century mark as Quinnipiac pulled within four runs, 6-2. Poletsky and Amanti become the 25th and 26th players in Quinnipiac's Division I history to reach the mark.

Russow sat-down the first five batters he faced before giving up a one-out triple to Hunter Phillips. Russow was bailed out on a spectacular play by Bobcats right fielder Ryan Ullrich (Woodbridge, Conn.). Chris Whittemore hit a fly ball to shallow right field that forced Ullrich corralled with a diving catch. The third-year outfield popped to his feet and threw a strike to Nisson at the plate that beat the runner to the plate for the third out of the inning.

Quinnipiac added a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning when Ullrich doubled down the left field line with one out. Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) hit a ground ball to second to move Ullrich to third before Farina lined his second hit of the day to center field to score Ullrich. Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.) singled to center field, but the ball was misplayed, allowing Farina to score from first as Monack went to third on a two-base error while Quinnipiac moved to within two runs, 6-4, after five innings.

Quinnipiac pulled within a run when Ullrich walked and stole second base. He moved to third base on a ground ball to second by Bartlett before Farina ripped his third hit of the day through the left side of the infield to score Ullrich and pull within a run, 6-5, ending Sacred Heart starter Troy Scribner's day.

In the top of the eighth, Quinnipiac exploded for five runs to take a 10-6 lead. Poletsky led off the inning with a double to right center field before being retired at third base on a ground ball back to the mound. With Migani reaching on the play, he advanced to second on a single to left field by Nisson and scored on a line drive through the left side of the infield by Guerino. Amanti followed with a double over the left fielder's head to drive home Nisson. Ullrich then followed with a two-run single to left center field. Farina doubled to score Ullrich and give Quinnipiac a four-run lead.

Quinnipiac returns to action on Tuesday, April 6 when they host Brown University at 3 p.m. at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field in Hamden, Conn.