NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – Timely hitting helped the Quinnipiac University baseball team on Saturday evening, as the Bobcats salvaged a split by winning the backend of their doubleheader against Niagara University. All square heading into the final frame, Quinnipiac mustered two runs to escape with a 6-4 decision at Sal Maglie Stadium.
Heading into the seventh inning tied at 4-4, Matthew Batten (Shelton, Conn.) sparked the Bobcats with a leadoff single to left field. Lou Iannotti (North Haven, Conn.) moved him over to second with a sacrifice bunt, and Niagara helped Quinnipiac's cause by walking Vincent Guglietti (East Haven, Conn.) and hitting Scott Donaghue (Marlboro, N.J.) to load the bases. Rob Pescitelli (West Islip, N.Y.) drew a walk to put Quinnipiac on top, 5-4, and Ryan Nelson (Knoxville, Tenn.) provided some insurance with a sacrifice fly to center field. Relief pitcher Gary Binkiewicz (Scotch Plains, N.J.) shut the door with a one, two, three inning to preserve the 6-4 win.
Quinnipiac starting pitcher Justin Thomas (Enfield, Conn.) battled through five and 1/3 innings, holding Niagara to four hits during that span. He was charged with two runs while striking out three. Matthew Osieja (Wyckoff, N.J.) relieved Thomas in the sixth, and Binkiewicz secured the victory in the seventh. Osieja collected the win with Binkiewicz earning the save.
Quinnipiac jumped out to an early lead in this one, when Ruditys (Boothwyn, Pa.) delivered a two-out, RBI single in the top of the second for a 1-0 Bobcat lead. Guglietti drew a walk to lead off the inning, and Nelson moved him to second with a base-hit up the middle. Ruditys stepped into the batters' box and picked up his seventh RBI of the season with a line-drive to right field.
Niagara scored its first run of the game in the bottom of the third when a lead-off single resulted in a sacrifice fly and a 1-1 game. The Purple Eagles then took their first lead of the game in the fourth inning, capitalizing on two hit batters and a walk that loaded the bases. After that, a bit of Bobcat misfortune helped Niagara when Pavel Chavez-Rusova snubbed a slow-roller that went down in the books as a fielders' choice. Michael Fuhrman scored from third on the play for a 2-1 lead for the home team.
The big inning for Quinnipiac came in the top of the fifth where the Bobcats used two hits to score three runs in the frame. The inning was also inflated by two Purple Eagle errors which prolonged the Bobcat rally. Mike Palladino (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) reached on an error to lead off the inning and then swiped second base to move into scoring position. Iannotti walked, and Guglietti ripped an RBI single to tie the score at two apiece. Donaghue followed suit with an RBI single to left field to put Quinnipiac in front, 3-2; and then the second Purple Eagle error plated the Bobcats' fourth run. Pescitelli reached on base on the play.
Niagara scored two in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game up at four apiece. A sacrifice fly and an RBI single plated the run for the Purple Eagles.
Quinnipiac and Niagara will conclude the three-game set tomorrow, Monday, April 7 at 10:30 a.m.
Bobcat fans should refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for additional schedule changes over the next week due to inclement weather and playing conditions, as well as the latest news scores and highlights.
Student-Athletes, parents and fans can download the 2013-14 QU Athletics schedules to your laptop and mobile devices for free by clicking in the iCalendar link at the bottom of each sport's homepage or the master schedule page. Fans can also follow Quinnipiac Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@QUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates.