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HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac baseball team salvaged a split with Marist College on Saturday afternoon, as the Bobcats overcame a four run deficit in game two to defeat the Red Foxes, 7-4, taking one of two at the QU Baseball Field in Hamden. Game one featured a 9-5 triumph for Marist.
With the split, Quinnipiac moves to 20-19 overall and 11-6 in league play – inching closer to clinching a spot in the 2015 MAAC Championships. The Bobcats have won 15 out of their last 19 games, including four of their last five. Marist's record goes to 12-20-1 overall and 7-7 in the MAAC.
Quinnipiac scattered 10 hits in game one with four players having multiple throughout the nine inning affair. Defensively though, Quinnipiac allowed 12 hits and walked six – giving the Red Foxes several chances with runners in scoring position. Marist's big inning came in the top of the ninth where the visitors plated four runs for a five run cushion.
Scott Donaghue (Marlboro, N.J.) paced Quinnipiac going 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored. Vincent Guglietti (East Haven, Conn.) went 2-for-4 from the dish with a run scored; John Bodenhamer (Maple Valley, Wash.) was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Matthew Batten (Shelton, Conn.) had a pair of hits as well. Mike Palladino (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) scored twice and Matthew Oestreicher (North Haven, Conn.) and Julius Saporito (Manalapan, N.J.) each had a hit.
Scoring picked up in the very first inning when Marist took a 2-0 advantage on four hits in the frame. Steve Laurino drove in Graham McIntire, who doubled off the wall, and Joey Aiola picked up an RBI single later in the frame. The bats stayed quiet until the sixth inning as Marist scored twice more for a 4-0 lead.
Quinnipiac got on the board in the bottom half of the inning, when the Bobcats loaded the bases with no one out. Donaghue was hit by a pitch, followed by back-to-back singles from Batten and Guglietti. Lou Iannotti (North Haven, Conn.) collected the first of two RBI in the game with a ground ball to second, but Chris Napolitano worked out of trouble unscathed.
The Bobcats scored their second run of the game when Donaghue lifted a double to left field to score Palladino from first. Palladino reached on an error, leading to a two-out RBI for Quinnipiac's second baseman.
Marist manufactured a run in the top of the eighth before Quinnipiac pulled to within one with a pair of runs in their ensuing at bat. Guglietti led off the inning with a walk and Oestreicher reached on an infield single, leaving first and second with one out. Bodenhamer singled to left field to score Guglietti and Ben Gibson (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) reached on an error to score Oestreicher from third. The Bobcats trailed by one, 4-3, entering the ninth.
A big inning followed for the Red Foxes, pushing four across the plate on just one hit. Marist loaded the bases and Aiola delivered a big blow with a single to left field. Two more came across later in the inning, when a wild pitch strikeout allowed both runners to score from second and third. Quinnipiac threatened in the bottom of the ninth but Ryan Thomas worked out of trouble to pick up his fifth save of the year. Iannotti snagged his second RBI in the game with a ground out to second base, which scored Palladino.
Thomas Jankins (West Brookfield, Mass.) took the loss for Quinnipiac, allowing four runs on nine hits in seven innings. He did fan six in the game. Matthew Lorenzetti (Marlboro, N.J.) and Robert Hitt (Suffield, Conn.) pitched the eighth and ninth, respectively.
Quinnipiac bounced back nicely in the second game, combining timely hitting and a solid effort from its bullpen to secure the win. After falling behind 4-0 through just 2 ½ innings, Quinnipiac scored in four of the last five innings to overcome the deficit and take the lead. Head coach John Delaney called on his relievers midway through the seven inning game, and they shut down the Red Foxes for the victory.
Quinnipiac mustered 10 hits in the game, eight different Bobcats getting into the hit column. Palladino and Saporito each went 2-for-4, Palladino scoring once and driving in another and Saporito crossing the dish twice. Guglietti had a pair of RBI with Donaghue, Batten and Gibson all driving in one. Donaghue, Batten, Iannotti and Bodenhamer all scored as well.
Marist jumped ahead early, scoring four times within their first six outs of the game. The Red Foxes capitalized on two Bobcat errors and a double by Zach Racusin, leading 4-0 after 2 ½ innings.
The Bobcats' bats came to life in the bottom of the second, stringing three straight hits together in the inning. Iannotti doubled, Bodenhamer singled and Gibson drove in the first run with a base-knock to right field. Saporito followed with a walk, and Bodenhamer came through to score on the final ball, a wild pitch.
In the bottom of the third inning, Quinnipiac tied the score when Guglietti came through for the Bobcats. Donaghue led off with a single and Batten reached on an error which left second and third with no one out. Guglietti ripped a double to right field, picking up his team-leading 30th and 31st RBI of the season.
After another scoreless inning defensively, Quinnipiac captured its first lead in the bottom of the fourth – an advantage it would never relinquish. Saporito led off with a single and then moved to third on a Palladino hit to left field. Donaghue pushed Saporito around on a designed squeeze play, and Batten singled to right field to score Palladino. Quinnipiac tacked on one more in the sixth when Delaney signaled for the hit-and-run, Saporito motoring around all the way from first on a Palladino double to the gap.
Pitching was key to the Bobcats' victory, in particular a strong effort from the bullpen. Gary Binkiewicz (Scotch Plains, N.J.) came on in relief in the fourth inning, working out of trouble to preserve the tie score. He eventually got the win after 1 1/3 innings of work – not allowing a run or a hit, walking one and striking out another. Robert Hitt pitched a scoreless sixth and Gregory Egan (Seldon, N.Y.) picked up his first career save with a scoreless seventh.
The rubber match is set for tomorrow at 12 p.m. in Hamden.
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