Baseball Drops Pair of NEC Games To Long Island, 4-1 and 8-2

Quinnipiac Bobcats (13-19, 9-11 NEC) vs.
Wagner Seahawks (10-25, 8-12 NEC)
Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 1 p.m. (DH; 9-7)
Friday, April 22, 2011 - 12 p.m. (DH; 7-9)
Quinnipiac Baseball Field - Hamden, Conn.

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Pivotal Northeast Conference Series
The Quinnipiac University baseball team will host Wagner College in a pivotal four-game Northeast Conference series at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field in Hamden, Conn. The Bobcats and Seahawks will play a pair of doubleheaders on Thursday, April 21 at 1 p.m. and Friday, April 22 at 12 p.m. Thursday's doubleheader will consist of a nine-inning game followed by a seven-inning game while Friday's doubleheader will be a seven-inning game followed by a nine-inning game.

Scouting The Seahawks
Wagner is currently 10-25 overall and 8-12 in the Northeast Conference. Wagner has lost eight of its last 10 games, with their two wins coming against Bryant on April 8-9. The Seahawks were led last week by sophomore Nick Alfano, who went 7-for-11 (.636) with three stolen bases, two doubles and three stolen bases while reaching at a .692 clip. Junior Tommy Higgins also had a big week, batting .471 (8-for-17) with four runs, four RBI, three doubles and two stolen bases while reaching base at a .550 clip. In an 8-4 loss to Seton Hall (4/13), Higgins recorded a career-best four hits in five trips to the plate while Alfano recorded his first hit of the year, a RBI double. Junior RHP Mark Holmes fired his second straight complete game in the Game 1 defeat, allowing just three earned runs over 8.0 strong innings. Senior RHP Dale Hering fired his third straight complete game in a 10-1 Game 2 defeat. Alfano led the Green & White attack with his first multi-hit game of the year, going 2-for-2 in Game 3. Wagner then dropped a 13-8 slugfest in the fourth and final game of the weekend to Monmouth. Alfano had another big game, going 3-for-5 with a stolen base.

From The NEC Office
Both Quinnipiac and Wagner currently find themselves on the outside of the NEC's postseason picture, but have a prime opportunity to change that status this weekend. The two teams will face each other in what could be a pivotal four-game series up in Hamden, CT. Quinnipiac, which is looking to snap a three-year absence from the four-team NEC Tournament, has dropped 10 of its last 12 NEC games after a program-record 7-1 start to the league schedule. At 9-11, Dan Gooley's Bobcats sit sixth in the league standings 2.0 games out of the final postseason spot. Coming off a sweep by Monmouth, Wagner (8-12) sits 1.0 game behind Quinnipiac in the league standings as it bids to make a fourth consecutive NEC postseason appearance. Joe Litterio's Seahawks have qualified for the four-team postseason event, the winner of which receives an automatic NCAA bid, in six of the past seven years. - Northeast Conference Baseball Release, 4/18/11

Go Joe!
Joe Poletsky's (Riverside, Conn.) two RBI's this weekend gave the senior All-NEC third baseman 100 career runs-batted-in. Poletsky is now the 14th player in Quinnipiac history to reach the 100 RBI mark and the 10th player in program history to reach 170 hits, 100 RBI and 30 doubles for his career.

Solid Weekend For The Migs
Junior captain Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) led the Bobcats in hits (8), runs (4), doubles (2), RBI (4) and slugging percentage (.526) for the week while batting .421 (8-19) over five games played. Migani was 3-for-3 with a run scored in the second game of a Northeast Conference doubleheader on Friday, April 15 and was 4-for-5 with two doubles, four RBI and three runs scored in the second game of the Bobcats' twinbill on Sunday, April 17 against Long Island.

Putting Together A Good Year Too
For the year, Migani is hitting .325 (37-114) while leading the team in doubles (9), home runs (3), RBI (24) and slugging percentage (.482). Migani has also scored 22 runs and is second on the roster with 15 walks for the year.

We're Going To Wally-World
Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) extended his team-best hitting streak to six games with a hit in all five of the Bobcats' games this week. Nisson batted a team-high .438 (7-16) while also posting a .500 slugging and on-base percentage. Nisson capped off a solid week with a 3-for-4 afternoon that included RBI's on the tying and go-ahead run in the final game of the Bobcats' four-game tilt against Long Island.

Break-Out Year
For the season, Nisson is hitting .343 (34-99) with three doubles, 11 runs scored and 14 RBI. He leads the team with a .426 on-base percentage.

Go-To Arm Out of the 'Pen
Kevin Castodio (Pawcatuck, Conn.) appeared in two games last week, holding the opposition scoreless in 4 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. After a scoreless inning worked against Rhode Island, Castodio spun 3 1/3 of hitless, scoreless baseball against Long Island while striking out seven of the 10 batters he faced for the afternoon. Castodio has now pitched 13 2/3 innings over six relief appearances without giving up an earned run.

Birdsall's No-Hitter Earns National Recognition
Kyle Birdsall was named the National Pitcher of the Week, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week as well as the Akadema/Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Week after hurling the first no-hitter in program history against Monmouth in a 6-0 win on Saturday, April 10.
Birdsall was one of seven players honored nationally by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper this week.

He Racked Up The K's Too
Birdsall's 12 strikeouts against Monmouth in his no-hitter were a personal all-time best, as well as the most by a Northeast Conference pitcher this season.

All-Time Quinnipiac Akadema/Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Week Honors
Birdsall is the ninth Quinnipiac pitcher in NEC history to win Pitcher of the Week honors and the first since Alex Russow received the award on April 6, 2010.

Kyle Birdsall, 2011
Alex Russow, 2010
Andy Mayer, 2009
Chris Gloor, 2009
Pat Egan, 2004 (Three Times)
Buddy Bengel, 2003
Kevin MacIlvane, 2003
John Melillo, 2002
Buddy Bengel, 2001
Kevin MacIlvane, 2001

Consistent Front-End Pitching
Kyle Birdsall (3-1), Anthony Cinelli (3-1), Derek Lamaccia (3-2) and George Dummar (3-3) give Quinnipiac their most three-game winners at the midway point of its league schedule since 2005 when Pat Egan, Chris Wakefield and Ari Kafka all had three wins through the Bobcats' first half of their NEC schedule.

Terror On The Base Path
Quinnipiac is the only team in the Northeast Conference with three players ranked in the top ten in steals in Ben Farina (11), Chris Migani (7) and Mickey Amanti (7).

Quinnipiac's March Athlete Of The Month
The Quinnipiac Department of Athletics and Recreation has announced that baseball senior Mickey Amanti has been named Quinnipiac's March Athletes of the Month. Amanti led the baseball team to its best start in program history as the Bobcats won 11 of their first 18 games. Amanti batted a team-high .364, including a team-leading 28 hits in 18 games for the month. Amanti also stroked five doubles and drove in nine runs while scoring 14 more. Amanti was also second with four stolen bases in the month. His most notable games included the Bobcats' season-opening win against Marshall when Amanti went 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. He had multiple-hit efforts against Richmond (twice), Rider, Army, Mount St. Mary's (twice) and a 4-for-5 day against Fairleigh Dickinson.

The Bobcats' active leader in doubles, with 43, Ben Farina needs five more two-baggers to break Tim Binskoski's record of 47.