SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Quinnipiac University baseball team dropped a pair of one-run decisions on Saturday afternoon, as the Bobcats were swept by the NEC's top team Bryant University at Conaty Park in Smithfield, R.I. Quinnipiac was defeated by a final count of 3-2 in game one, and then saw its comeback bid fall short in extra innings with a 4-3 loss in the nightcap.
With the losses, Quinnipiac falls 10-19 overall and 5-10 in Northeast Conference play. The Bryant Bulldogs, who stand alone atop the NEC standings, extend their winning streak to 16 straight and improve to 21-9-1 overall and 10-0 in the NEC.
Game one of the doubleheader featured a pitchers dual that saw a 2-2 score carry into the bottom of the seven inning. With a runner standing on second base and two outs in the inning, Bryant freshman AJ Zarozny stepped into the batters' box. Zarozny hit what appeared to be an inning-ending fly ball to center but the ball was dropped, allowing Daniel St. George to score and break the deadlock.
Quinnipiac put its first two runners on base in the ensuing inning, but couldn't manufacture the equalizer. Bryant closer Salvatore Lisanti (Bronx, N.Y.) picked up his fifth save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
Bryant put a two-spot on the scoreboard in the first inning, but QU starter Derek Lamacchia (Whitestone, N.Y.) settled in nicely. Lamacchia scattered six hits over seven innings, allowing just two earned runs. Lamacchia has an earned run average of just 1.51 through seven games. Gary Binkiewicz (Scotch Plains, N.J.) came in to pitch a scoreless eighth to wrap up the pitching line for Quinnipiac.
Quinnipiac posted six hits on the afternoon including a game-high of three for Brian Ruditys (Boothwyn, Pa.). Scott Donaghue (Marlboro, N.J.), Forrest Dwyer (Wakefield, R.I.) and Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) each had a hit, with Migani picking up two RBI's on a two-out single in the top of the third inning.
The backend of the twinbill ended in dramatic fashion, as Quinnipiac erased a two-run deficit in the final two innings to force extras. Trailing 3-1 in the sixth, the Bobcats capitalized on a Bryant error to cut their deficit in half, and then completed the comeback with the game-tying run in the seventh. With two outs and the game hanging in the balance, Vincent Guglietti (East Haven, Conn.) singled to right center to bring in Steffen Herter (Amherst, Mass.) from second base. The Bulldogs failed to score in the bottom half, setting up extra innings for the New England rivals.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, the visitors went down in order in the top of the eighth, leaving the league's top offense in control. Bryant loaded the bases one a hit-by-pitch, a single and an intentional walk, bringing junior Jonathan Scott to the dish. Scott didn't take the bat off his shoulder, but a wild pitch allowed Carl Anderson to dart home from third for the game-winning run.
Spencer Kane (Wolcott, Conn.) started on the hill for Quinnipiac and took a no decision after 6.2/3 innings of work. He allowed three runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out another. Binkiewicz relieved Kane in the seventh and was credited with the loss.
Quinnipiac is back in action tomorrow, Sunday, April 14, with the final two games of the series. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 12 p.m. from Conaty Park.