HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University baseball team split a Northeast Conference doubleheader against LIU Brooklyn, winning the first game, 13-4, before dropping the second game, 14-4, at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field in Hamden, Conn. Quinnipiac finishes the season at 9-38 overall and 8-24 in NEC play.
Spencer Kane (Wolcott, Conn.) won his team-leading fourth game of the season (4-6) in the first game. Kane was tagged for four runs in the first inning and then held LIU Brooklyn hitless, with just two runners reaching base, until the sixth inning. Kane scattered four hits in the game, while striking out six in his NEC-leading seventh complete game. Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) was 5-for-6 for the doubleheader, going 3-for-4 in the first game and 2-for-2 in the second game. Junior Zak Palmer (Mahwah, N.J.) was a triple shy of the cycle in the first game, finishing the day 3-for-3 with a two-run home run, three RBI and three runs scored, before going 4-for-5 in the second game with three RBI for a combined 7-for-8 day that saw the second year third baseman drive in six runs. Nic Civale (East Windsor, Conn.) was 3-for-4 with three doubles, the most for an individual batter in a single game since John Delaney doubled four times against Sacred Heart on May 10, 2008. Civale also drove in four runs in the game, the second most this season for the Bobcats. Sophomore Scott Donaghue (Marlboro, N.J.) also homered in the game while driving in a run in the sixth for a 2-for-4 day with three RBI. Jesse Ullrich (Orange, Conn.) also collected three hits in the game, with two runs scored. Senior Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) was also 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.
LIU Brooklyn jumped on the board early when Brad Greve was hit by a pitch with the first pitch of the game before Tyler Jones turned on a 1-and-1 pitch from Kane and drove a long home run down the left field line to give the Blackbirds a 2-0 lead. Kane then got Pete Leonello to hit a ground ball to short that Leonello beat-out for a heat before Drew Walsh drew a walk and Kane hit Tito Marrero with a pitch to load the bases. Chris Untereiner then lined a single to left to bring around Leonello and Walsh to increase LIU Brooklyn's to four runs. Kane bounced back, striking out Albert Faz and Diego Perez on six pitches before inducing a ground ball by Julian Castro to end the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, Jesse Ullrich (Orange, Conn.) led-off with a slow-roller to third base for a base hit before Forrest Dwyer (Wakefield, R.I.) drove an eye-level fastball to left field for a single before Kyle Nisson (Wallingford, Conn.) drove the second pitch of his at-bat by LIU Brooklyn's diving second baseman to load the bases. Zak Palmer (Mahwah, N.J.) worked the count full before drawing a walk to force Ullrich home for the Bobcats' first run of the game. Vin Guglietti (East Haven, Conn.) then went down swinging before Nic Civale (East Windsor, Conn.)crushed a 2-2 fastball from LIU Brooklyn starter Chance Fuglistahler over the head of the Blackbirds' center fielder to score Dwyer and Nisson as the Bobcats pulled within a run, 4-3, before Fuglistahler retired Gabe Guerino (Milford, Conn.) and Scott Donaghue (Marlboro, N.J.) to end the Bobcats' scoring threat.
In the third, Palmer led off the inning with a single to short, and moved to second when the throw ended up in dead-ball territory. After Guglietti struck out, Civale delivered with his second double of the game, plating Palmer and tying the game at 4-4. After Guerino struck out, Donaghue connected on a 2-2 offering from Fuglistahler, crushing his second home run of the season over the left field wall to give Quinnipiac a two-run lead, 6-4.
The Bobcats' three-run inning knocked Fuglistahler from the game in favor of Rafael Guerrero. Fuglistahler was tagged for six earned runs on seven hits while striking out six over 2 2/3 innings pitched. Mike Blumenthal (Dix Hills, N.Y.) and Ullrich kept the rally going, greeting Guerrero with a pair of two-out base hits to put runners on the corners. Guerrero was able to retire Dwyer to end the threat.
The Bobcats picked up where they left off in the next inning when Nisson lined a Guerrero offering the other way for a double down the right-field line. Palmer then followed with his first career home run, a shot to left center that cleared the wall to give Quinnipiac an 8-4 lead. The Bobcats increased their lead to 9-4 when Ullrich collected his third hit of the afternoon and then stole second base before Dwyer lined a single to center field to score the lead runner and give Quinnipiac a five-run lead.
In the sixth, Nisson led off the inning with a single to right before Palmer crushed a double to the right-center field gap to move both runners into scoring position. Vin Guglietti (East Haven, Conn.) followed with a RBI-single to score Nisson and give Quinnipiac a 10-4. The run ended Guerrero's day in favor of Skye Freeman. Guerrero gave up four runs on 10 hits over 2 1/3 before leaving the game. Civale followed with his third double of the game, once-again driving in Palmer to give Quinnipiac an 11-4 lead. Guerino then singled in Guglietti before Donaghue's ground ball to short scored Civale to give Quinnipiac a 13-4 lead.
In the second game, LIU Brooklyn once-again jumped out to an early lead when Jones drove a one-out double to center field off of Quinnipiac starter Ray Buckley (Orange, Conn.). Leonello then hit a seeing-eye single through the left-side of the infield to score Jones and give the Blackbirds a 1-0 lead. After Buckley walked Walsh, Tito Marrero drove a double to the left-center field gap to score Leonello and give LIU a 2-0 lead. Buckley then hit Untereiner and Faz with a pitch to push across LIU Brooklyn's third run of the inning. Jesse Brown followed with a sacrifice fly ball to right to give LIU a 4-0 lead.
In the third, Ullrich singled to right to lead off the inning before stealing second and moving to third on a wild pitch. After Dwyer walked, Nisson's fly ball to center was deep enough to score Ullrich with Quinnipiac's first run. Palmer then lined a single up the middle, scoring Dwyer from second base to cut LIU Brooklyn's lead in half, 4-2.
Long Island responded in the top of the fourth, getting back both runs to take a 6-2 lead. Brad Greve started the inning with a single before scoring on two-out single by Walsh, while Walsh scored on a single by Guerrero.
The Bobcats plated two more runs in the bottom of the fifth when Ullrich and Dwyer both walked to start the inning. After Nisson bunted both runners into scoring position, Palmer's single up the middle scored both runners to pull Quinnipiac within two runs, 6-4.
George Dummar (Branford, Conn.) came on in relief of Buckley after Buckley gave up six runs on seven hits over six innings. Buckley recorded five strikeouts while walking four. In the bottom of the inning, Quinnipiac threatened when Nisson and Palmer led off the inning with a pair of singles, giving Palmer a hit in each of his seven at-bats in the doubleheader. LIU Brooklyn reliever Matt Higginbotham managed to pitch out of the jam, retiring the last three batters in the inning keep the Blackbirds' lead intact, 6-4. After Civale bunted both runners into scoring position, Guerino flew out to left field for the second out of the inning before Donaghue ground-out to third.
In the top of the eighth, LIU Brooklyn's offensive exploded for eight runs, turning a two-run game into a 10-run game heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. Dummar gave up back-to-back singles to Mike Garcia and Greve before a double by Tyler Jones brought both runners around and gave LIU Brooklyn an 8-4 lead while also knocking Dummar from the game. Matthew Siciliano (Ardmore, Pa.) came in to relieve Dummar, giving up a hit up the middle to Leonello to score Jones as Dummar was credited with three runs in an inning pitched. Siciliano then gave up a single to Walsh, but an error on a throw from right plated Leonello to give LIU Brooklyn a 10-4 lead with Walsh moving to second. Untereiner then singled to left-center to bring Walsh around, ending Siciliano's day in favor of Kevin O'Connell (Glastonbury, Conn.). Siciliano gave up three runs on three hits in 1/3 of an inning.