Baseball Drops NEC Game To Central Connecticut State, 13-12, In 10 Innings

HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac baseball team lost to Central Connecticut State, 13-12, in a Northeast Conference game at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field in Hamden, Conn. With the loss, Quinnipiac goes to 14-34 overall and 9-19 in NEC play while CCSU improves to 24-24 overall and 13-15 in league play.

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Quinnipiac led 10-2 through four innings, dominating from the mound as freshman starter Justin Thomas (Enfield, Conn.) held CCSU to two runs on seven hits through seven innings. After the Blue Devils scored once in the eighth, they exploded for nine runs in the top of the ninth to take a 12-10 lead. With two on in the bottom half of the inning, Quinnipiac hit what appeared to be the game-winning run, but batter Mike Blumenthal was called out for passing the runner on first base. Central hung on to manufacture a run in the top of the 10th for the win.

Quinnipiac's Brian Ruditys (Boothwyn, Pa.) was 5-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored while Tom Donovan (Marshfield, Mass.) was 4-for-5 with two runs scored. Chris Migani (Orange, Conn.) was 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBI while Jesse Ullrich (Orange, Conn.)was 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Scott Donaghue (Marlboro, N.J.) was 2-for-5 with two RBI in the game. 

Quinnipiac scored two runs in the first and second innings before exploding for five runs in the third to give freshman starter a 9-2 lead. Donaghue drove in runs in each of the first two innings, while Migani had an RBI single in the first a three-run homer in the Bobcats' five-run third inning.

Thomas benefitted from solid defensive play from the Bobcats' early on as Quinnipiac turned three double plays in the first three innings to temper the Blue Devils' threat early on. Thomas gave up runs in the second and third, both of which reached on lead-off walks. Thomas allowed the lead-off batter to reach in the fourth and fifth innings as well, but retired the next three batters in each inning, respectively.

In the sixth, Thomas got Mike Washburn to ground out on the first pitch of the inning before giving up consecutive hits, for the first time in the game, to Dominic Severino and Josh Ingham. He then got Anthony Turgeon to pop-up before Ryan Beal hit a ground ball to short that bounced into Severino's path and resulted in interference on the Blue Devils' runner to end the inning. Thomas allowed one hit through the seventh before exiting the game in favor of senior Kevin O'Connell (Glastonbury, Conn.). O'Connell gave up one run in the eighth as CCSU trimmed Quinnipiac's lead to 10-3.

In the ninth, CCSU chased O'Connell scoring four runs on two hits in the inning, while O'Connell walked three and hitting another batter before giving way to Kyle Musco (Walpole, Mass.). O'Connell exited with Quinnipiac leading 10-7 and the bases loaded with one out. Musco gave up a single to pinch-hitter Bobby Migliazza before Dylan Delacruz hit an opposite field grand slam to give CCSU a 12-10 lead. Musco then gave up three straight hits before retiring the final two batters of the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, Nic Civale (East Windsor, Conn.) and Tom Donovan (Marshfield, Mass.) led-off the inning with a pair of singles. After Herter bunted them over, Mike Blumenthal (Dix Hills, N.Y.) hit the ball over the right field fence for what appeared to be the game-winning, three-run homer, but Blumenthal passed Donovan, putting Blumenthal out on the play, but scoring pinch-runner Mike Palladino (Rockville Center, N.Y.) and Donovan to tie the game at 2-2. After Ruditys singled to right and then moved to second one a passed ball, Migani's deep flyball was caught at the warning track to end in the inning.

In the 10th, CCSU reliever Josh Ingham, who started the game at second base, led off with a single to right. After he was bunted over, he moved to third on a single by Connor Fitzsimon's and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Delacruz to give Central Connecticut a 13-12 lead.  

Quinnipiac returns to action on Tuesday, Apr. 14 when it hosts Fairfield in a non-conference match-up at Quinnipiac Baseball Field at 3 p.m. The Bobcats will play their final regular-season contests of 2013 in Teaneck, N.J. when they face Fairleigh Dickinson for a four-game, Northeast Conference series on May 17-19.