BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Six first inning runs against the Blackbirds proved more than enough for Quinnipiac baseball as they scored a 9-3 victory over LIU Brooklyn from LIU Field on Sunday. The nine runs scored is tied for the most in a single game for the Bobcats all season while their winning streak extends to three games now with the victory. The Bobcats improve to 13-31 overall with an 8-16 mark in the NEC while LIU Brooklyn falls to 16-29 and 12-12 in conference play.
Quinnipiac takes three-out-of-four from LIU Brooklyn over the weekend to win their first conference road weekend series since March 25-26, 2011 when they swept Mount St. Mary's. They also continued to belt the home runs as freshman Rob Pescitelli (Bayshore, N.Y.) left the yard in the seventh for his second career homer and the seventh for the Bobcats in the past five games. Other key offensive contributors included senior Jesse Ullrich (Orange, Conn.) who went 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored from the leadoff spot in the order. Sophomore Scott Donaghue (Marlboro, N.J.) also contributed a multi-hit game as he went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run. Both Pescitelli and junior Mike Blumenthal (Dix Hills, N.Y.) scored twice and had one hit each for the Bobcats.
Also coming up with some big performances was the combined pitching effort of freshman starter Justin Thomas (Enfield, Conn.) and senior reliever Kevin O'Connell (Glastonbury, Conn.). Thomas pitched in and out of trouble early as he threw into the fifth, allowing four hits and six walks but limited the damage as only two runs scored and he also struck out five Blackbirds. O'Connell entered with the bases loaded and no one out in the fifth and after he hit his first batter, he went on to retire 13 of the next 14 batters. He earned the victory, tossing five relief innings with just one hit and one run allowed, both in the ninth inning as he also went on to strike out five batters to pick up his first win of the season.
The Bobcats jumped on LIU Brooklyn early and often as they batted around in the first inning, pushing six runs and 11 batters to the plate throughout the frame. Ullrich started the action with a leadoff infield single and senior Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) was hit by a pitch with one out. After a strikeout, the Bobcats would strike a two-out rally as six consecutive batters reached base starting with Donaghue who singled home Ullrich with a base hit to center. LIU's starter Chris Franzese then lost his command as he first walked Pescitelli to load the bases and then Blumenthal and junior Tom Donovan (Marshfield, Mass.) both drew RBI walks to make it 3-0 and end Franzese's afternoon. LIU inserted pitcher Bryan Saffelle and he started by hitting freshman Steffen Herter (Amherst, Mass.) with a pitch to send home another run and the furious Bobcat attack continued as Ullrich laced a two-run single to right for his second hit of the inning which made it 6-0 Bobcats.
Quinnipiac tacked on another two runs in the third as Blumenthal reached on an error and made the Blackbirds pay as he stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and trotted home as he scored on the Blackbirds' throw down attempt trying to gun down Herter stealing second. The inning extended and senior Forrest Dwyer (Wakefield, R.I.) took advantage with an RBI single to center to make it an 8-0 game.
Thomas escaped trouble in the third as two runners reached with one out but he once again used an array of pitches to strikeout the final two outs of the inning to keep it an eight-run deficit. Just the inning before Thomas had struck out the side giving him five out of six recorded outs coming by way of strikeout for the Bobcat rookie.
He did well again to escape the fourth as the bases were loaded with one out but he induced a weak flyout to left and then Donovan made a great throw to first from his catcher position to gun down the base runner.
His promising day would come to an end in the fifth after three straight Blackbirds reached to leadoff the inning. O'Connell came on and hit his first batter on his first pitch to force home a run but then struck out the next swinging, induced a sacrifice fly to center and then struck out another batter to escape further damage.
Pescetilli's home run came in the seventh inning as he crushed the 2-2 offering out and over the fence in right to give his team a 9-2 lead.
O'Connell meanwhile was cruising, retiring 10 straight at one point before the ninth where LIU Brooklyn added a run late but no more as the game ended with a 9-3 Bobcats' victory.
The Bobcats will resume action with their last home stand of the 2013 season as they will be taking on Central Conn. St. starting on Thursday through Saturday.