Baseball Drops NEC Tilt To Monmouth, 11-5

HAMDEN,Conn. - The Quinnipiac University baseball team lost to Monmouth, 11-5, in a Northeast Conference match-up at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field in Hamden, Conn. With the loss, Quinnipiac drops to 8-5 in NEC play and 12-12 overall. Monmouth improves to 9-4 in conference play and 14-12 overall and now sit in sole ownership in the NEC standings with three games in the series to go.

Ben Farina (Waterford, Conn.) was 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored in the loss. Farina's two hits moved him past Wilson Matos '07 into third place all-time in career hits with 212. He now trails Ryan Rizzo '07 (238) for second and Tim Binkoski '07 (245) for the all-time record. Freshman Zak Palmer (Mahwah, N.J.) was 1-for-4 with three runs-batted-in. Mickey Amanti (Waterford, Conn.) kept up his hot-hitting with a 2-for-5 afternoon that included a run scored.

Monmouth's Danny Avella powered the Hawks with a 2-for-5 day that included two home runs and five RBI. Jake Gronsky also homered for Monmouth as part of a 2-for-4 afternoon with four RBI and two runs scored. Cal Costanzo was 2-for-5 with a run scored while Josh Boyd and Jamie Rosenkranz drove in a run and scored two more. Nick Meyers improved to 5-1 on the season after holding Quinnipiac to four runs on seven hits over eight innings while striking out six.

Avella's three-run homer in the top of the first and Gronsky's RBI double in the second inning pushed Monmouth out in front, 4-0. In the bottom of the second inning, Palmer ground out to second base to score Poletsky with his first RBI of the day. The Bobcats tacked on another run in the bottom of the third when Chris Migani's (Orange, Conn.) single through the left side of the infield scored Amanti to pull Quinnipiac within two runs, 4-2.

Quinnipiac starter Derek Lamaccia (Whitestone, N.Y.) had settled in at that point, retiring seven of the next eight batters he faced after Monmouth's three-run first inning. An error to start the sixth inning started the Monmouth rally as the Hawks rattled off seven runs, including a pair of home runs by Gronsky and Avella, to take a commanding 11-4 lead.

In the eighth, Farina led off the inning with his 210th career hit, tying Matos for third place all-time. He moved to third after Nisson crushed first-pitch fastball from Monmouth starter Nick Meyers up the middle. After Mike Bartlett (Milford, Conn.) walked to load the bases, Palmer drove in Farina and Nisson with a line drive to right-center field to trim Monmouth's lead to 11-4. Farina blasted his first home run of the season with one out in the eighth.

Quinnipiac and Monmouth take the field again on Saturday, April 9 with a pair of seven-inning games set for a 12 p.m. start. Sunday, April 10, 2011 will be Katie Vashon Day at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field. Her father, Jim Vashon, will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch while Katie's sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, will be holding a bake sale to raise funds for the Katie Vashon Endowment at Camp Sunshine in Casco, Maine. The money raised allows for two children suffering from chronic illnesses and their families to spend one week each summer at this camp which was held close to Katie's heart. Katie Vashon was a senior from Hermon, Maine who worked in the Quinnipiac University Sports Information Department for four years before she suddenly passed away after a brief battle with leukemia in 2005. Katie was majoring in public relations and belonged to the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority as well as the School of Communications honorary society Lambda Pi Eta.