HAMDEN, Connecticut – A back-and-forth battle between the Quinnipiac baseball team and Marist ended with the visiting Red Foxes taking an 8-7 decision at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field in Hamden, Connecticut. The Red Foxes take the series, after both teams claimed a win on Saturday, and improve to 13-20 overall and 8-7 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Quinnipiac drops to 20-20 overall and 11-7 in MAAC play.
Matthew Batten (Shelton, Connecticut) was 3-for-4 with two RBI while Scott Donaghue (Marlboro, New Jersey) also collected three hits while driving in a run. Lou Iannotti (North Haven, Connecticut) drove in two runs as well while Vin Guglietti (East Haven, Connecticut) hit his team-leading seventh home run of the season. On the mound, Justin Thomas (Enfield, Connecticut) gave up two runs – only one of which was earned – on two hits while striking out five over six innings. He left the game with Quinnipiac leading 4-2. Gregory Egan (Selden, New York) took the loss in relief for the Bobcats.
Marist got on the board first for the third straight game as Graham McIntire worked a walk and then scored from first on a two-out, RBI-single by Matt Pagano to give the Red Foxes a 1-0 lead. The Red Foxes would not lead again until the ninth inning after it scored six runs in their final two at-bats. Quinnipiac led 5-2 through the seventh inning, but back-to-back home runs by Marist's Tyler Kirkpatrick and Joey Aiola powered Marist to the win
In the bottom of the fourth, Quinnipiac pushed two runs across to take a 2-1 lead. Batten led off the inning with a bunt single before moving to second base on a wild pitch by Marist starting pitcher Rich Vrana. Bobcats' head coach, and third base coach John Delaney called for the hit-and-run, moving Batten to third on Guglietti's ground-out to short. Iannotti put on a picture perfect bunt down the first base line, scoring Batten with the game-tying run on the squeeze play.
After Matt Oestreicher (North Haven, Connecticut) walked with two outs, a failed pick-off attempt to first by Marist's catcher allowed Oestreicher to move to second base. John Bodenhamer (Maple Valley, Washington) then lined a single to left field to score Oestreicher from second who slid away from the tag at the plate to give Quinnipiac a 2-1 lead.
The Bobcats' lead was short-lived as Marist tacked on a run in the top half of the fifth inning. John Brucker led off with a single before Matt Belitz dropped a bunt down to move him to second. The throw on Belitz's bunt was misplayed, allowing Brucker to move to third. Graham McIntire then hit a slow-roller to the left of the mound, allowing Brucker to score and tie the game at 2-2.
In the fifth, Donaghue singled down the left field line and then moved to second on a passed ball. Batten then delivered with a single the opposite way, lining a single down the right field line to score Donaghue and give Quinnipiac a 3-2 lead through the fifth inning.
In the sixth, Guglietti jumped on the first pitch of his at-bat from Marist starter Rich Vrana and crushed his seventh home run over the right field wall to give Quinnipiac a 4-2 lead.
In the seventh, Quinnipiac freshman Taylor Luciani (Berlin, Connecticut) entered the game in relief of Thomas. Luciani walked lead-off batter Mark Brennan before John Brucker doubled down the left field line to put runners on second and third with no outs. Luciani then struck-out pinch hitter Mark Swertfager before Zack Racusin lined an 0-and-2 pitch to right field. Quinnipiac's John Bodenhamer caught Racusin's line drive and came up throwing, keeping Brennan at third with two outs. Luciani hit the outside corner to strike-out Graham McIntire, looking, to end Marist's threat.
In the bottom half of the inning, Ben Gibson (Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts) led off the inning with a line drive to center field for a lead-off single. After Dale Long (Saratoga Springs, New York) pinch ran for Gibson, Julius Saporito (Manalapan, New Jersey) bunted him over to second base. Mike Palladino (Rockville Centre, New York) then ground out to second, moving Long to third base before Donaghue doubled over the left fielders head to score Long and give Quinnipiac a 5-2 lead.
In the eighth, Marist scored twice to pull within a run, 5-4, before exploding for four runs in the top of the ninth inning, highlighted by a two-run homer by Kirkpatrick and a solo homer by Aiola, to take an 8-4 lead. Quinnipiac scored twice in the bottom of the ninth, but ended the game with the bases loaded as its come-back bid fell short.
Quinnipiac is back in action on Tuesday, Apr. 28 when it hosts Hartford for a non-conference match-up at 3 p.m. at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field.