March 18, 2011

Baseball Splits Northeast Conference Doubleheader Against Fairleigh Dickinson

PARAMUS, N.J. - The Quinnipiac University baseball team split a Northeast Conference doubleheader against Fairleigh Dickinson at Bergen Community College in Paramus, N.J. Fairleigh Dickinson took the first game, 6-5, while Quinnipiac won the second game, 7-0.

Derek Lamacchia (Whitestone, N.Y.) won his second straight decision after holding the Knights scoreless over seven innings while giving up six hits and striking out five. Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) drove in four runs in the second game, while Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) was 5-for-8 for the day, reaching base in seven of his nine plate appearances.

In the first game, Kyle Birdsall (Orange, Conn.) took a tough no-decision after pitching seven strong innings, scattering four hits for two runs while striking out seven. Birdsall's seven K's were a season-high for the Bobcats. Birdsall put two runners on base in the bottom of the eighth inning before leaving the game. The inning proved to be disastrous for the Bobcats as Fairleigh Dickinson struck for four runs to take a 6-5 lead.

Amanti was 4-for-5 with a double, a RBI and a run scored. It was Amanti's third career four-hit game. Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) was 2-for-5 with a three-run homerun and a double while Zak Palmer (Mahwah, N.J.) also collected two hits.

In the top of the third inning, Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) led off the inning with his second hit of the day, a double down the left field line. After Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) popped, Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) walked to put runners on first and second. Fairleigh Dickinson starter Chris Theodor got Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) to pop-up for the second out of the inning. Joe Poletsky (Riverside, Conn.) turned 1-1 offering from Theodor and crushed the pitch over the left field wall to give Quinnipiac a 3-0 lead. The home run was the first for any Quinnipiac player this season.

In the fourth, freshman Zak Palmer (Mahwah, N.J.) led off the inning with his second hit of the day. After Theodor retired the next two batters, Amanti struck again with his third hit of the afternoon, scoring Palmer from second to give Quinnipiac a four-run lead. In the 5th, Migani was hit-by-a-pitch with two outs and then stole second base. On a failed pick-off attempt that resulted in the ball being thrown into center field, Migani moved to third and then scored on a wild pitch. Poletsky then followed with a deep drive to left field, just missing his second home run of the day as the ball caromed off the top of the fence for a two-out double.

In the bottom of the inning, J.T.Sherba singled to start the inning before moving to third on a double down the line by Matt Holsman. Birdsall was then called for a balk, scoring Sherba as Holsman moved to third. He would score on a deep fly ball to right field by Ryan Kresky to move FDU with three runs, 5-2, at the end of five innings.

Birdsall settled in from that point, sitting down the next nine batters he faced heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. Birdsall walked Kresky to lead-off the eighth. After Kresky moved to second on a wild pitch, he was brought around to score on a RBI-double by Erik Pollag. The run ended Birdsall's day in favor of Andrew Rinaldi (East Rockaway, N.Y.). Rinaldi gave up a hit to Brian Dillon on a slow roller back to the mound. Steven LaForge then single to center field, and moved to second base on Farina's throw to third, which was off-line, allowing Pollag to score and ove within a run. Dillon scored on a pick-off attempt by Nisson that was high, and ended up down the left field line with the tying run. Mike Eliasen then dropped down a bunt to score LaForge with the go-ahead run.

In the top of the ninth, Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) walked to lead off the inning before Kevin O'Connell came into the game to run for Guerino. Mike Blumenthal then bunted O'Connell into scoring position at second base before Amanti and Bartlett flew out to end the game. FDU reliever Spencer Kelly became the Knights' all-time saves leader with his 11th for his career.

In the second game of the doubleheader, Amanti delivered with a double down the left field line for his fifth hit of the afternoon. Farina followed with a single to center field to score Amanti before Migani blasted a two-run homer over the left field wall to give Quinnipiac a 3-0 lead. After Poletsky followed with a walk, FDU starter Nick Melchiorre was dominant, sitting down the next 14 batters he faced through the fifth inning before Amanti reached on an error with two outs.

In the top of the seventh, Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) led off the inning with a single between the short stop and third baseman. Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) then lined a one-strike offering from Melchiorre to the left-center field gap to score Bartlett and give Quinnipiac 4-0 lead. Amanti reached base for the sixth time on the day after being hit by a pitch. Farina drove in his second run of the day to score Guerino and give Quinnipiac a 5-0 lead. The hit knocked Melchiorre from the game in favor of Jeff Murawski.

Migani drove in two mores with a deep drive to the left center field gap to give him four RBI for the second half of the twin bill to give Quinnipiac a 7-0 lead. Lamaccia retired the Knights in order in the seventh for the shutout win.

Quinnipiac and Fairleigh Dickinson wrap-up their four-game set on Sunday, March 20 at 12 p.m. at Bergen Communitiy College in Paramus, N.J. The first game, scheduled for a 12 p.m. start will be seven innings while the second game will be nine innings.