HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac baseball team fell to the Hartford Hawks 7-5 Tuesday afternoon despite a pair of two-hit games from Matthew Batten (Shelton, Connecticut) and Ben Gibson (Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts) and the first career home run from Julius Saporito (Manalapan, New Jersey).
The Bobcats drop to 20-21 (11-7 MAAC) with their second straight loss while the Hawks improve to 15-25 (6-10 AE) with their first win over Quinnipiac this season.
Saporito went 1 for 3 with his first home run along with a pair of walks. Batten went 2 for 4 with a walk and a RBI while Gibson went 2 for 5 with a double and a RBI to lead the Bobcats.
Six different Bobcats recorded at least one hit in the matchup as Batten extended his hitting streak to 11 games and his third multi-hit game in the last four for the Bobcats. Vincent Guglietti (East Haven, Connecticut) went 1 for 3 with a pair of walks to extend his hitting streak to eight straight games in the loss.
Joseph Scaglione (Wyckoff, New Jersey) pitched his longest outing of the season Tuesday afternoon for the Bobcats as he went seven innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits with three strikeouts as he drops to 2-5 on the season.
Hartford got off to a quick start in the top of the first inning as Trey Stover led off the game with a solo home run deep over the left field fence to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. The Bobcats eventually got out of the inning with just the one run allowed after three straight outs.
The Hawks extended their early lead to 3-0 in the top of the third inning. With one out in the inning, Chris Deldebbio doubled to left field on a 3-1 pitch. David MacKinnon was hit on the first pitch of the at-bat following the double, and both runners moved up a base on Scaglione's balk to put runners on second and third. Ryan Lukach lifted a fly-ball to left field, enough to sacrifice home DelDebbio. With MacKinnon still standing on second base, Nick Campana drove him home with a RBI single up the middle.
Saporito put the Bobcats on the scoreboard one pitch into the bottom of the third inning with his first home run of the season well over the right field fence to cut the Hawks lead to 3-1. The Bobcats threatened for more with runners on first and third with two outs but couldn't bring home either runner.
TJ Ward gave the Hawks a 4-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning as he scored on a wild pitch. Ward reached with a lead-off double to right field. He was forced to stay at second base after a failed sacrifice bunt before moving to third on an infield single for Aaron Wilson. Ward then came home to score on the wild pitch as Wilson moved to second base where he was stranded to end the inning.
The Bobcats cut the Hawks lead in half in the bottom of the fifth inning to make it 4-2 after Guglietti double to the right centerfield gap with two outs in the inning. Quinnipiac's two-out magic continued as Lou Iannotti (North Haven, Connecticut) singled up the middle to score Guglietti from second base and Iannotti moved up to second on the throw home.
Gibson brought the Bobcats within 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning but it was as close as the Bobcats would get. Rob Pescitelli (West Islip, New York) made his first start of the season Tuesday afternoon, picking up right where he left off in 2013-14 as he was hit by a pitch and quickly advanced to second base on a passed ball. Last season, Pescitelli was hit by a pitch 17 times. With a 2-2 count, Gibson singled to centerfield to score Pescitelli from second base.
The one run deficit did not last long; however, as the Hawks got a run back in the top of the seventh inning to make it 5-3. Wilson led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Following a wild pitch, Wilson came home to score as MacKinnon reached on an error by Saporito in left field.
Hartford tacked on two more runs in the top of the eighth inning after Campana walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on another sacrifice bunt. Joe Roberti doubled home Campana before coming home to score on Wilson's single.
The Bobcats added a pair of runs in the eighth and ninth innings to bring the game with two runs but could not complete the comeback. In the eighth, Donaghue reached on a fielder's choice following a Palladino hit by pitch where he was forced out at second base. Donaghue advanced to second on a wild pitch and came home to score on Batten's single to centerfield.
In the bottom of the ninth, Matthew Oestreicher (North Haven, Connecticut) pinch-hit and reached on an infield single. Matthew Payero (Corona, New York) came in to pinch-run for Oestreicher and advanced to second on a Pescitelli groundout for the second out of the inning. Gibson then reached on an error by the Hawks third baseman allowing Payero to score from second base to bring the Bobcats with 7-5.
The Bobcats will return to action Wednesday afternoon when they travel to Amherst, Massachusetts to face the Massachusetts Minutemen for their first road game in 10 games at Earl Lorden Field at 3 P.M.