BOBCAT BASEBALL INVADES FLORIDA
By: Michael Radomski
Friday, March 9, 2007
HAMDEN- Baseball is back in season for Quinnipiac University.The team bus left the cold confines of Connecticut at 11:30 AM on Thursday for the Sunshine State of Florida.
The Bobcats will play Michigan State (3-2) in the season opener today at noon. Then, as part of a doubleheader, the Bobcats will play South Florida (10-4) in the 6 pm nightcap. Both games will be played at South Florida’s Red McEwen Field.
Quinnipiac is ranked 2nd in the Northeast Conference Preseason Poll behind CCSU. This is the third straight season where the Bobcats have been ranked 2nd in the preseason coaches’ poll.
The Bobcats only lost one starter from last year’s team. The team brings back eight starters and Pat Egan. The 6’8’’ senior from Rocky Hill, CT is returning from season ending Tommy John surgery last year. He ranks 9th place all time on the QU wins list with 16, and was drafted in the 36th round of the MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles.
Andy Mayer is another big QU pitcher. He led the team in wins (6) and games started (12). The Trumbull, CT native also led the team in innings pitched (72.1).
At the plate, QU is sporting some tough hitters. Ryan Rizzo led QU in batting average, on base percentage, runs, and hits last season. His 74 hits in ’06 fell four shy of setting the QU single season record. The senior outfielder is 32 hits shy of setting the all time QU hits record, set by Steve Kulpa in 1993 with 201. With 170 hits thus far, Rizzo will have to compete with fellow teammates Tim Binkoski (164) and Wilson Matos (159) for the shot at the record.
The Bobcats had five teammates named to NEC honors last season. Seniors Ryan Rizzo, Tim Binkoski, and junior John Delaney all made 1st team while Senior Randy Gress and Ricky Coppola made NEC 2nd team.
Quinnipiac is coached by Dan Gooley. The ’69 graduate of QU coached the Bobcats baseball team from 1977-1987. Gooley has been coaching the Bobcats since 2001 as well.
The team’s last game is Florida is on March 15th verse the Dodger’s Class A team in Dodgertown at Vero Beach. The team returns to the Northeast for a Saint Patrick’s Day matchup verse St. John’s.