NORFOLK, Va.- The Quinnipiac (0-2) baseball team lost to Norfolk State (1-4), 5-4, in 10 innings at Marty L. Miller field. Quinnipiac sophomore Justin Thomas (Enfield, Conn.) hurled six scoreless innings, scattering two hits, before exiting in the seventh with a 2-0 lead.
Norfolk chipped away, plating two in the bottom of the seventh. Quinnipiac put two across in the top of the tenth before NSU once-again answered with a three-run bottom of the inning, including a walk-off ground ball to short that was misplayed resulting in a pair of runs crossing for the win. Junior Scott Donaghue (Marlboro, N.J.) was 2-for-3 while Rob Pescitelli (Bayshore, N.Y.), Brian Ruditys (Boothwyn, Pa.), Lou Iannotti (North Haven, Conn.) and Mike Blumenthal (Dix Hills, N.Y.) all drove in runs.
Three Quinnipiac juniors jumpstarted the Bobcat offense in the top of the second, led by Vincent Guglietti (East Haven, Conn). Guglietti worked the count full before drawing a walk before Donaghue followed with a single to put two on with no one out. Pescitelli was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Senior Nic Civale (East Windsor, Conn.) hit a bouncer back to Spartan hurler Matt Outman who flipped the ball back to the catcher for the force out at home plate, but the bases remained loaded. First-year Bobcat Iannotti then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to plate the first run of the game. Blumenthal then hit a hard rising line drive to left that could not be caught by diving Spartan Tyon Ore, scoring Pescitelli as the Bobcats rallied for two runs.
Starting his first game of the season, Thomas was incredibly efficient, chucking 89 pitches over six brilliant innings for the Bobcats. He held the Spartans scoreless, only two hits, one walk while striking out four batters and retired the last four batters he faced.
Matthew Lorenzetti (Marlboro, N.J.) came on in relief for Thomas, recording two quick outs before the Spartans struck back. Lorenzetti hit the next batter and walked the one following to bring Cameron Day to the plate. Ahead in the count, 2-and-1, Day lined a ball into left field to cut the Quinnipiac lead in half. Senior Ross Cardwell was brought in to pinch hit for Kyle Vaas and delivered with a game-tying double.
The game remained tied until the top of the 10th inning. The Bobcats started the inning with a walk to Mike Palladino (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) followed by two quick outs before, similarly to the Spartans in the 7th inning, the Bobcats executed with two outs. Guglietti singled and Donaghue walked to load the bases. Pescitelli and Ruditys then walked, scoring Palladino and Guglietti as Quinnipiac took a 4-2 lead.
Bobcat Joseph Scaglione (Wyckoff, N.J.) had come in to pitch the 9th inning and was on the hill for the bottom of the 10th and the save. After giving up a leadoff double to Justin Burrell, who eventually moved over to third and singled home by Justin Lee. Scaglione was able to get the second out of the inning, clinging to a 4-3 lead, with Lee on first, but a NSU two-out rally was the story of this ball game.
After a wild pitch moved Lee to second, Zach Markel singled him home to tie the game at 4-4 with two outs. Three batters later, with two outs and the bases loaded, Denathan Dukes hit a ground ball to Donaghue that he couldn't field cleanly, allowing the winning run to cross the plate for the Spartans.
Quinnipiac returns to action at the Spartan Classic when it faces the University of Buffalon on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. in Norfolk, Va.