Baseball Splits NEC Doubleheader With Fairleigh Dickinson

QU vs.FDU Photos

HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University baseball team split a Northeast Conference doubleheader with Fairleigh Dickinson, winning the first game, 6-3, before its comeback bid fell short in the nightcap in a 12-11 loss. Quinnipiac goes to 13-11 in the NEC and 14-30 overall while Fairleigh Dickinson goes to 11-34 overall and 6-18 in NEC action.

Sophomore Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) collected six hits in the doubleheader, going 3-for-3 with two RBI in the first game before following that performance up with a 3-for-5 showing with two RBI in the second game. Anthony Cinelli (Wall, N.J.) won his third straight game to improve to 3-3 overall after holding FDU to three runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 before giving way to Andrew Rinaldi (East Rockaway, N.Y.) who pitched the final 1/3 of an inning for his second save of the season. Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) was 2-for-2 in the first game with three runs scored.

Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) was 1-for-4 with a run scored in the first game, and came within a triple of the cycle in the second game as he went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. With hits in both games, Farina extends his team-best hitting streak to 17 games. Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) was 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored in the second game of the doubleheader for his team-leading 18th multiple-RBI game. Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) had a hit in the first game and was hit by a pitch in the second game as he has now reached base safely in 21 consecutive games.

In the first game, Cinelli struck out the first two batters he faced before walking Brian Dillon. Dillon scored on a single by DJ Robinson that gave Fairleigh Dickinson an early 1-0 lead. From there, Cinelli held the Knights scoreless until the seventh when they struck for two runs. Quinnipiac benefitted from an RBI single by Nisson in the second inning that scored Migani. The Bobcats kept their foot on the gas and pushed across four more runs in the bottom of fourth, powered by five hits, including run-scoring singles by Brian Monack (Branford, Conn.), Migani and Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.).

In the second game, Fairleigh Dickinson held a 10-run lead, 12-2, through the fourth inning after a pair of five-run innings in the second and third, followed by two-run fourth. The Knights chased Quinnipiac freshman starter Alex Russow (Milford, Conn.) after the first-year Bobcat gave up five runs on six hits over two innings. Freshman George Dummar (Branford, Conn.) came on in relief to start the third inning, but gave up four runs without giving up a hit and walking four over 2/3 of an inning. He was lifted in favor of Spencer Kane (Wolcott, Conn.), who gave up a run in the third before giving up two more runs in the fourth. Todd DeFrancesco (North Haven, Conn.) relieved Kane and spun five innings of scoreless ball as the Bobcats mounted their comeback.

Trailing 12-2, Quinnipiac benefitted from Ben Farina's (Waterford, Conn.) second homerun of the season. The two-run homer looked like a fly ball to center, but the heavy winds at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field pushed the ball over the right field fence to pull the Bobcats to within eight runs, 12-4. They were able to cut their eight-run deficit in half in the bottom of the seventh inning after they opened the inning with three straight hits, including run-scoring doubles by Farina and Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.). Guerino and Nisson also drove in runs in the inning. Nisson's RBI double, which looked as if it was leaving the yard, hit the top of the left field fence. His run would have been the difference in the game.

In the eighth, Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) was hit by a pitch to start the inning before Amanti and Farino both popped up. After Monack kept the inning alive with a single to right field, Poletsky turned on the second pitch of his at-bat and drove a three-run homer over the left field wall to leave the Bobcats within a run of tying the game, 12-11.

In the ninth, Nisson grounded out to the start the inning before Ryan Ullrich (Orange, Conn.) reached on an error. Jeff Carino (Greenwich, Conn.) then singled through the left side of the infield to put the winning run on first base. FDU's Zach Kisling was able to induce the groundball for the game-ending doubleplay.

Quinnipiac is back in action on Tuesday, May 11 when they host the University of Massachusetts for a non-conference match-up at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field in Hamden, Conn.