SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Quinnipiac University baseball team lost to Bryant University, 11-7, in a Northeast Conference match-up at the Bryant Baseball Complex in Smithfield, R.I. The Bobcats drop to 14-30 on the season and 10-20 in NEC play while Bryant improves to 24-22 overall and 13-11 in conference play.
It was the bottom half of the Bobcats’ lineup that powered Quinnipiac’s offense against the Bulldogs. The 6-7-8-9 batters combined for 11 of Quinnipiac’s 16 hits in the game, led by a career day from No. 9 hitter Ray Buckley (Fairfield, Conn.). Buckley strung together a career-best four hits while also driving in a run. Zak Palmer (Mahwah, N.J.) was 3-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored while Nicolas Civale (East Windsor, Conn.) was 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) had his fourth consecutive two-hit game to push his hit streak to a team-best seven games. Guerino joins Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) as the only two players this season to string together four straight multiple-hit games.
Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) picked up two more hits in his progression up the all-time hits chart, while also driving in a pair of runs. Farina now has 236 for his career, trailing Ryan Rizzo ’07 (238) by two hits for second place all-time. Amanti also had two hits to push his career total to 196, leaving him four hits shy of becoming the eighth player in program history to reach 200 hits.
Kyle Birdsall (Milford, Conn.) took the loss for the Bobcats to drop to 3-3 on the season. Birdsall was tagged for five runs in the bottom of the first inning before stringing together five scoreless innings. The senior right-handed pitcher gave up three more runs in the bottom of the seventh before being lifted in favor of Andrew Rinaldi (East Rockaway, N.Y.). Rinaldi gave up a pair of runs before he was replaced by Matt Siciliano (Ardmore, Pa.). Siciliano pitched a scoreless, hitless inning.
Quinnipiac got on the board in the second inning when Civale and Buckley had back-to-back singles, with Civale moving to third on Buckley’s base hit. Civale scored on a ground-out to second base by Farina. The trio would account for the Bobcats’ second run when Farina’s single to center field scored Civale from second base to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to three, 5-2.
In the sixth, Palmer and Guerino led the inning with a pair of singles as Palmer took an extra base and moved to third on Guerino’s hit to center. Civale ground into a double play, but managed to knock Palmer in to move within two runs, 5-3. In the bottom of seventh, Bryant plated four runs, with two coming on a double by Jamie Skagerling to knock Birdsall from the game. Rinaldi gave up a double to Tim Norton to score Skagerlind and a triple to Joseph Carcone to score Norton as Bryant took a 9-3 lead.
Quinnipiac’s fourth run came by virtue of a single to right field by Buckley, in his final at-bat to finish off his 4-for-4 day, that scored Palmer. Bryant responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to take an 11-4 lead. Quinnipiac put together a three-run inning in the top of ninth to cut the deficit to four runs with Palmer, Guerino and Civale all driving in runs.
The Bobcats and Bulldogs resume play on Saturday, May 7 with a pair of seven-inning games set for a 1 p.m. start.