QU Baseball Concludes Regular Season With Doubleheader Split Against NJIT; Batten Extends Hit Streak To 22 Games

QU Baseball Concludes Regular Season With Doubleheader Split Against NJIT; Batten Extends Hit Streak To 22 Games

HAMDEN, Connecticut – The Quinnipiac University baseball team concluded the regular season with a split in a non-conference doubleheader against NJIT, winning the first game, 11-6, before dropping the second game, 13-7. The Bobcats finish the regular season at 27-26 while NJIT goes to 24-23-1 for the year.

Quinnipiac's Matthew Batten (Shelton, Connecticut) extended his team-leading hit streak to 22 games with three hits in the first game, and a single in his final at-bat in the night cap. Batten has also reached base in 24 consecutive games, with Apr. 11 marking the last time he was kept off base. In addition to his 22-game hitting streak, Batten has now driven in a run in 17 of those 23 games. Batten was 3-for-4 with two RBI in Game 1 before going 1-for-2 with two RBI in the second game. 

Rob Pescitelli (West Islip, New York) posted a five-hit doubleheader, hitting safely three times in the first game before posting a two-hit day in the second game of the double-dip. Mike Palladino (Rockville Centre, New York) collected a pair of hits in each game of the Bobcats' twin bill while Scott Donaghue (Marlboro, New Jersey) drove in three runs on the day.

Batten and Pescitelli were both  3-for-4 with a double and two RBI while Lou Iannotti (North Haven, Connecticut) also put together a three-hit afternoon. Donaghue and Ben Gibson (Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts) also drove in a pair of runs. Wyatt Hamilton (Falmouth, Massachusetts) improved to 2-3 on the year after giving up one run on five hits in four innings of work.

The Bobcats batted around in the third, plating seven runs to take an early lead. Pescitelli singled to lead off the inning and then went to third on a base hit by Gibson. Brian Ruditys (Boothwyn, Pennsylvania) then dropped down a bunt and reached when NJIT starting pitching John Malatesta looked Pescitelli back to third. Dale Long (Sarasota Springs, New York) then wore one, pushing Pescitelli home with the game's first run on a hit-by-pitch. After Palladino struck-out, Donaghue walked to force Gibson across to give Quinnipiac a 2-0 lead.

Batten kept the rally going, lining a fastball from Malatesta to right field to score Ruditys. Batten extended his team-, season-best hitting streak to 22 games, while his RBI single gave him an RBI in 16 of those 22 games. Batten would finish the day 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

After Batten, Vin Guglietti (East Haven, Connecticut) followed with a fly ball to deep left field to score Long to give Quinnipiac a 4-0 lead. Lou Iannotti (North Haven, Connecticut) then hit a looping single to shallow right field to score Donaghue and give the Bobcats a 5-0 lead. Pescitelli doubled in his second at-bat of the inning, lining an offering from Malatesta on a 3-and-2 count down the right field line to score Batten and Iannotti. Both runs were unearned after a dropped foul ball by NJIT's catcher on the previous pitch.

In the top of the fourth, NJIT finally got to Hamilton when Bryan Haberstroh lined a double off the base of the center-field fence with one out. After Hamilton got Evan Pietronico to fly out for the second out of the inning, Cody Kramer then lined a single to center field to score Haberstroh to pull NJIT to within eight runs at 9-1.

Quinnipiac freshman Mike Davis (Sandy Hook, Connecticut) relieved Hamilton to start the fifth. Hamilton's day came to an end after he allowed a run on five hits over four innings pitched. Hamilton struck out one and did not walk a batter in his ninth appearance of the year.

In the sixth, Davis was tagged for five runs after he walked the bases loaded and gave up a sacrifice fly ball to Rex MacMillan. Matt McKinnon then reached on a dropped third strike with Brady Hall scoring from third before lead-off hitter Jesse Uttendorfer connected for his first home run of the season to pull NJIT within three runs, 9-6. The Bobcats got two runs back in the bottom half of the inning on Gibson's two-run double to give Quinnipiac an 11-6 lead.

For NJIT, Ed Charlton was 3-for-3 with five RBI and missed the cycle by a double while Cody Kramer was 4-for-4 with two doubles and a RBI. For Quinnipiac, Palladino was 2-for-3 while Long was 2-for-3 with a RBI, a walk and two runs scored. 

NJIT manufactured a pair of runs in the top of the first inning when it strung together three straight hits while Stephen Halibej and Bryan Haberstroh both drove in runs in the inning. The Highlanders hung two more runs on Quinnipiac starter Justin Thomas (Enfield, Connecticut) when Jesse Uttendorfer singled with two outs before Ed Charlton hit his team-leading ninth home run of the season to give NJIT a 4-0 lead.

In the third, back-to-back doubles by Evan Pietronico and Cody Kramer resulted in another Highlanders' run, giving NJIT a 5-0 lead. After Thomas walked Matt McKinnon he was lifted in favor of freshman Taylor Luciani (Berlin, Connecticut) after he gave up five runs on nine hits over 2 1/3. Luciani retired the final two batters of the inning.

In the bottom of the third, Ruditys and Long both walked to start the inning before Palladino dropped down a bunt back to the mound. Saviano played the ball to third, which Ruditys beat to the bag. Donaghue then drove in Ruditys with a sacrifice bunt, dropping the ball between the mound and first, to make it 5-1 for Batten. Batten hit a towering shot to right-center field, deep enough to score Long, and cut NJIT's lead to 5-2.

Luciani was lifted in the top of the fifth inning after scattering three hits over 1 2/3 before walking Pietronico and giving up a hit to Kramer to start the inning. Matthew Lorenzetti (Marlboro, New Jersey) made his team-leading 25th appearance of the season. Lorenzetti walked McKinnon before MacMillan stroked a two-run single to left field to give NJIT a 7-2 lead. Uttendorfer then dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but reached on the play to load the bases. Charleton then hit a laser to center field for a triple, clearing the bases, and giving NJIT a 10-2 lead. Charleton's three-bagger ended Lorenzetti's day before he was replaced by Gregory Egan (Seldon, New York). Charleton scored on Rampone's ground ball to second before Egan retired Stephan Halibeg. Haberstroh, the ninth batter of the inning, then connected for his sixth home run of the day to give NJIT an 12-2 lead. The Bobcats salvaged a run down the stretch to make it 12-3.

After a solo home run by NJIT gave the Highlanders a 13-3 lead, the Bobcats put together a run in their final at-bats. Donaghue led off with a double before scoring on Batten's single to right center. Batten came around and scored from first on a double by Guglietti, who moved to third on a throw to the plate. Iannotti followed with a chopper up the middle for a ground-out, but was deep enough to score Guglietti and make it 13-6. 

After Pescitelli's fifth hit of the day, Matt Oestreicher (North Haven, Connecticut) was hit by a pitch. With two on, Long hit a bouncing ball up the middle for a base hit to score Pescitelli and make it 13-7. 

Quinnipiac returns to action when it faces Marist in the 2015 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament on Wednesday, May 20 at 12 p.m. at Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls, New York.