Oskandy fans 8 in 9-5 win over Long Island
Senior pitcher Michael Oskandy allowed three runs through eight innings, while junior shortstop Mickey Amanti went 4-for-5 with a three-run home run to anchor the Bobcats in a 9-5 victory over Long Island University on Friday in the first game of a four-game series.
Oskandy displayed a gutsy performance as he threw 131 pitches and struck out eight batters to help lead the Bobcats to a win.
“I thought the kid was outstanding. He has been a big part of us the whole year,” Quinnipiac head coach Dan Gooley said. “He wanted to come out and lead us today. I thought he was in command the entire game, wire-to-wire.”
Meanwhile, the Bobcats offense gave Oskandy plenty of run support. In the bottom of the fifth with the game tied at two, the Bobcats perfectly executed a hit-and-run when third baseman Joe Poletsky hit a two-run double to give the Bobcats their first lead of the game, 4-2.
In the top of the sixth inning the Blackbirds got a run back, but in the bottom half of the inning the floodgates opened. Gabe Guerino led off the inning with a double, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Ryan Ullrich knocked him in with a single up the middle to give Quinnipiac a 5-3 lead. Pinch hitter Mike Bartlett followed with a single and that brought up Amanti with two on and one out.
Amanti delivered the big blow, getting his third hit of the game by crushing a fastball down and in over the left field wall to give the Bobcats a commanding 8-3 lead.
“I’m not even a big guy, so it got caught up in the jet streams,” Amanti said. “I got lucky.”
Amanti returned to the plate in the eighth with just a triple away from the cycle. Instead, Amanti tacked on an insurance run with an RBI single, giving him four RBI on the day.
“I wasn’t even think about [the cycle],” Amanti said. “I didn’t even know. If I knew about it I probably would have tried for it.”
Things did get a little nerve-wracking in the top of the ninth for the Bobcats. Junior Andrew Rinaldi came into relieve Oskandy and the Blackbirds attempted to get a late rally off him.
Rinaldi gave up two runs on four hits and a walk as Long Island closed within 9-5. The Blackbird had the bases loaded and one with the tying run at the plate. However, Rinaldi struck out their cleanup hitter Greg Desantis, and got the designated hitter Chris Kievit to pop up to second base and secure the win.
The Bobcats return to action Saturday in a double header against Long Island beginning at 1 p.m. Anthony Cinelli and Kyle Birdsall are expected to be the starting pitchers for the Bobcats.