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Bobcat baseball sweeps Stony Brook after long layoff
This weekend was supposed to be the home-opener for the Quinnipiac baseball team. Welcome to winter in New England.
The Bobcats were supposed to host Holy Cross this weekend. Then again, they were also supposed to play UConn on Wednesday and Fairfield on Thursday. All that changed when a huge snow storm hit the Nutmeg state last weekend while most Bobcats were scattered across the globe enjoying spring break.
Despite the inclement weather, which has kept the baseball team sidelined since March 15, the Bobcats managed to find a game. They would have to travel to Suffolk Community College in Selden, N.Y., to play a double-header Saturday against non-conference opponent Stony Brook.
Neither the long layoff, the change in plans, nor the weather could stop the Bobcats as they swept the twinbill decisively, 7-0 and 4-1.
It didn’t take long for the Bobcats to knock off the rust. After a leadoff walk in the first inning to John Delaney, Bobcat right-fielder Ryan Rizzo took the very next pitch delivered by Stony Brook’s Tom Koehler over the fence for his first home run of the season giving Quinnipiac a 2-0 lead.
Stony Brook’s biggest threat came in the bottom of the first inning as Bobcat starter Pat Egan allowed runners to reach first and third before inducing a double play ball that ended the Seawolves scoring chance. Egan went on to retire the next nine batters he faced before being pulled in the fourth inning in favor of Chris Gloor, who pitched equally well, giving up no runs on three hits while striking out five in five innings of work.
Senior Jeff Mainetti began his career day when he led off the fifth inning with a double. Freshman Ryan Ullrich roped an 0-2 pitch down the right field line, scoring Mainetti and giving the Bobcats the 3-0 advantage. Ullrich advanced to third on a dropped third strike during Delaney’s at bat and scored on a groundball to the second baseman by Rizzo. The Bobcats led 4-0 and Mainetti was just warming up.
After leadoff walks to Randy Gress and Pete Kummerfeldt to begin the sixth, Mainetti strolled to the plate with one out. Mainetti singled through the right side of the infield scoring Gress and advancing Kummerfeldt to third. The Bobcats would end the inning up 5-0 despite leaving the bases loaded.
Mainetti saved his best for last, hitting a monstrous home run to left field in the eighth inning with Matos on base. The home run was Mainetti’s first of the season as he ended the game 3-for-4 scoring two runs and driving in three more as the Bobcats rolled to the 7-0 victory.
In the second game, Stony Brook was the aggressor. After back to back singles to lead off the third inning, Seawolf Chris Sipp singled through the right side of the infield scoring teammate Keith Fier from second to give Stony Brook the 1-0 lead.
The Bobcats would trail until the seventh inning when Mainetti would once again prove to be too much for the Seawolves pitching staff. Mainetti took a 1-1 offering from Stony Brook starter Mike Errigo deep over the left field fence to lead off the inning to even the score at 1-1. Jeff Carino then reached base and advanced to second thanks to a throwing error by Fier. After Ullrich fouled out to the first baseman, sophomore Bryn Doyle drove in Carino with a single to center field and advanced to second on the throw in. Doyle advanced to third on a passed ball before Rizzo grounded out for the second out of the inning. Senior Tim Binkoski then doubled down the left field line scoring Doyle from third as the Bobcats ended the inning with the lead, 3-1.
The Bobcats scored one more time on the afternoon when Mainetti capped off his career day with an RBI single that scored Matos.
Mainetti was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored in Game 2 of the double-header as the Bobcats won, 4-1. Mainetti ended the day 5-for-8 with two home runs, five RBI and three runs scored.