Monack's Walk-Off Homer In The Ninth Gives Baseball 19-18 Win Against Yale
HAMDEN, Conn. - Quinnipiac senior Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.) capped-off an impressive afternoon against Yale with a three-run walk-off homerun with the Bobcats trailing, 18-16, in the 9th inining to give Quinnipiac their first non-conference win of the season, 19-18. Monack was 5-for-6 with six RBI and five runs scored in the game. Quinnipiac improves to 7-24 on the season, while Yale goes to 16-18-1 overall. The Bobcats' 19 runs are the most runs scored by Quinnipiac since April 25, 2009, when it defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 18-2.
Monack's latest two-homerun game marks the second time this season, and third time in his career, that the senior centerfielder has completed the feat. His six runs-batted-in and five runs scored are career-highs, while he also becomes just the seventh Northeast Conference player this season to record five hits in a game. The last Quinnipiac player to record five hits in a game was John Delaney, who had six hits against Vermont on April 23, 2008. Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) and Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) each had four hits, while Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) was 3-for-4 with four RBI and a homerun. Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.), Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) and Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) all had two hits in the win. Tim O'Sullivan (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) picked up his first career win after pitching a perfect 2/3 of an inning in the ninth.
The game had many similarities to the last time the two teams met at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field, with the victory going the other way. In that meeting, on April 2, 2008, Yale came away with the win behind a two-homerun outing by Davis Stanley to power the Bulldogs to a 19-13 win.
Quinnipiac used a four-run first inning to jump out to an early lead. The Bobcats used an RBI-single by Monack in his first at-bat, followed by a three-run homerun by Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) to take a 4-0 lead through the first. Poletsky finished the afternoon 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored for his team-leading 14th multiple-hit game this season.
After Yale's Andrew Kolmar hit his first of two homeruns on the afternoon in the top of the second inning to cut the Quinnipiac lead in half, the Bobcats responded with a five-run third inning to take a 9-2 lead. Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) drove in two runs in the inning while Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) and Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) also drove in a run.
Yale chipped away at the Quinnipiac lead, tying the game at 9-9 in the top of the fifth inning, highlighted by a grand slam by Kolmar, his second homerun of the day. The Bulldogs' four-run inning chased Quinnipiac starting pitcher Todd DeFrancesco (North Haven, Conn.), who was lifted in favor of freshman Kevin Castodio (Pawcatuck, Conn.). DeFrancesco was hit for nine runs, eight of which were earned, on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings pitched. DeFrancesco walked two and struck out two.
Quinnipiac jumped back out in front in the bottom of the fifth when Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) drove in Migani before Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) drove in Nisson. Quinnipiac tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth when Monack tripled to lead-off the inning and was driven home by a single by Poletsky. Poletsky scored on a ground ball by Guerino to give Quinnipiac a 13-9 lead.
Castodio, who pitched out of the fifth inning jam and cruised through the sixth inning, found himself in trouble in the seventh after he hit Charlie Neil with a pitch to start the inning before walking Kolmar. After Chris Piwinski singled to load the bases, Castodio was able to retire pinch-hitter Josh Scharff before Gant Elmore walked to force home Neil. Derek Lamacchia (Whitestone, N.Y.) entered the game for Quinnipiac in relief of Castodio, and was immediately tagged for a three-run triple by Andy Megee that emptied the bases and tied the game, 13-13. Megee scored with the go-ahead run on a ground-out by Trey Rallis to give Yale a 14-13 lead.
The lead was short-lived as the Bobcats quickly struck for three runs in the bottom of the inning. Farina drove in Amanti before Monack blasted a two-run homerun to give Quinnipiac a 16-14 lead. The Bobcats lead was short-lived as well, as Yale was quick to tag Anthony Cinelli (Wall, N.J.) for two runs before he was relieved by Dan McGrath (Pound Ridge, N.Y.). McGrath gave up a run in the top of the ninth inning when he walked in a run to give Yale an 18-16 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, Quinnipiac put two runners on base before reliever Robert Gruber was lifted in favor of starting third baseman, Andy Megee. Megee, who came on with two runners on base and two outs, needed to retire Monack to end the game. Monack, who came to the plate needing a double for the cycle, crushed the second pitch of the at-bat to deep center field to plate all three runs and give Quinnipiac the 19-18 win.
The Bobcats return to action this weekend with a four-game series against Central Connecticut State in New Britain, Conn. Quinnipiac and Central Connecticut will play a nine-inning game on Friday, April 23 at 3 p.m. followed by a pair of seven-inning games on Saturday, April 24 at 12 p.m. and a nine-inning game on Sunday, April 25 at 1 p.m.